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Thursday, 12 October 1972
Page: 1549

Senator MULVIHILL asked the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration, upon notice:

What was the backlog of applications from persons seeking to enter Australia as (a) assisted migrants and (b) non-assisted migrants, at the end of the 1971-72 immigration programme, from the following countries: Great Britain, Ireland (Eire and Ulster), Yugoslavia, Italy, Greece, Malta, Lebanon, United States of America, Chile, Finland, West Germany and Mauritius.

Senator GREENWOOD-The Minister for Immigration has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(a)   there is in general no backlog of applicants for assisted passages at the posts mentioned in the sense that there are applications awaiting attention. There are however applications at various stages of the selection process viz:

(i)   applicants who have applied and are awaiting interview;

(ii)   those who have been interviewed and are awaiting the determination of their applications; and

(iii)   those who have been approved and are awaiting movement to Australia.

The numbers of people in each of these categories at the end of 1971-72, who have applied for assisted passages in the countries mentioned are set out in Table 1. Mauritius and Lebanon are not included in this table as assisted passage schemes do not operate from those countries.

(b)   Applicants for unassisted entry who have been issued with visas and endorsements are free to travel to Australia without notifying overseas officers of my Department of their travel arrangements. Therefore accurate information is not available on the numbers of approved applicants for unassisted entry who have not yet departed for Australia.

However, statistics are available showing:

(i)   applicants who have applied and are awaiting interview; and

(ii)   applicants who have been interviewed and are awaiting determination of their applications.

These are provided in Table 2.

The table does not include figures for Britain and Ireland as most residents of these countries are free to travel to Australia as unassisted settlers without obtaining prior written authority. It also does not include applications from people in categories not eligible for consideration.

Mauritius also is excluded from this table. No Australian officers are based there and visits are made to the island by officers of the Department of Immigration each year. The last visit was made during the period 18th May to 14th July 1972 when all applicants whose applications were pending as at 12th May 1972 were invited to attend for interview. In all, 1,675 persons were interviewed. The applications and interview reports are now being examined. As at 17th August 1972, 49 applications lodged by residents of Mauritius since 12th May 1972 were held pending arrangements for interview.



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