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Wednesday, 12 December 1973
Page: 2721

Senator DAVIDSON (South Australia) - I seek from the Minister some details in relation to clause 8 of the Albury-Wodonga Development Bill, which establishes the functions and powers of the Albury-Wodonga Development Corporation. As the Minister will know, there are several sub-clauses in clause 8 which list the functions of the Corporation under this Bill. Those sub-clauses refer to engineering, architectural, planning and building facilities and to places of business for trade and commerce. There is reference to financial corporations including, be it noted, foreign corporations. Another paragraph refers to providing accommodation facilities for departments. But paragraph (d) indicates that the functions of the Albury-Wodonga Development Corporation include the facilitation of the settlement in the area of immigrants to Australia. The list of functions of the Corporation is impressive and comprehensive. It reads very firmly as though the functions of the Corporation are to provide and facilitate the establishment of certain things. Indeed there is a comprehensive list of certain things. I am interested in why it is necessary to spell out a list as long as that contained in clause

8.   1 am interested not so much in the things listed in the clause as in the things not listed in it.

I have no intention of commenting on the things not listed, because they could be extensive. There is, for example, as I read the clause, no specific reference to educational institutions or community agencies or religious organisations, all of which I submit are as important a part of a developing community as those which are listed, and they could well in one form or another come within the description of the functions of the Corporation under the Bill. If it is necessary to list the number of things set out in this clause and not to list certain others, the fact that certain things are listed gives me the impression that the functions of the Corporation, if implemented, will give the Corporation very strong advocacy and persuasion. Why is it necessary to list in a list of functions which deals specifically with business, engineering, architecture, trade and accommodation, only one item which refers to personnel- in this case migrants?

The Minister will know very well of the situation that developed some years ago in South Australia with the establishment of the city of Elizabeth. A great number of migrants went to that city over a period. I acknowledge that the 2 sets of circumstances do not necessarily equate, but I am interested in the fact that the Bill spells out that one of the functions of the Corporation is to facilitate the settlement in the area of immigrants to Australia. Is it proposed that, with the establishment of the other functions listed in this clause, migrants coming to Australia will be directed to the Albury-Wodonga area? Will the Corporation, in conjunction with the Department of Immigration, direct migrants to move into this area? If this is so, does it indicate that there is likely to be a stepping-up of the immigration program? If it is suggested that migrants should be settled in the area, surely there ought to be some reference to the emphasis to be placed on particular education programs for these people and on their social integration into the total community. Up to now in all these kinds of areas community organisations have worked in this general field. By the time that the AlburyWodonga area is established there could be new matters to be considered, but there does not seem to be any reference to them or any inference which leads me to understand that the migrant community, which is specifically mentioned in the Bill, will be cared for or have particular facilities available to it. I indicate my interest in this question, and I would be pleased if in due course I could receive some advice from the Minister.

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