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Australia's Worries Over NZ Immigration Amnesty

Shipley Reveals Australia's Worries Over NZ Immigration Amnesty

The Australian Government will be closely monitoring New Zealand's partial immigration amnesty, Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley said from Sydney today after meeting Australian Prime Minister John Howard.

Mrs Shipley said that while Helen Clark was trying to downplay the significance of the issue for Australia, the immigration amnesty had in fact already been discussed by the two countries' prime ministers.

"John Howard told me that Helen Clark had briefed him on New Zealand's plans at the United Nations millennium summit in New York.

"He immediately raised with her Australia's concerns about New Zealand becoming a back-door entry for migrants to Australia.

"Helen Clark has dismissed Australian Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock's worries about the policy as purely designed for Australian domestic consumption.

"But it's clear after my meeting with John Howard that Australia has real worries about the flow-on effects for them, and they'll be watching like hawks to see how the amnesty works," Mrs Shipley said.

Ends

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