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The Department of Immigration and Citizenship is strengthening checks on student visa applications to stamp out fraud and ensure students have the financial capacity to live and study in Australia.

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans said today that applications for student visas grew by 20 per cent to 362 193 in 2008-09, with almost 28 000 student visas refused, an increase of 68 per cent on the number of refusals in 2007-08.

‘While overall student visa compliance rates remain high, there are elements of concern within this large caseload,’ the minister said.

The targeted measures will address the potential for document fraud and other issues around financial capacity, identification and bona fides in some parts of the student caseload. The measures implemented with immediate effect include:

  • upgrading the interview program to build a strong evidence base around fraud;
  • removing or restricting eVisa access for some agents where there is evidence of fraud or inactivity, and
  • restricting access to eVisa for some segments of the caseload if analysis demonstrates restricted access would allow for better control of fraud.

The measures will target parts of the student visa caseload in India, Mauritius, Nepal, Brazil, Zimbabwe and Pakistan.

‘These measures are consistent with those used by other countries that receive large numbers of student visa applications, such as the United States,’ Senator Evans said.

‘Australia’s student visa program supports the entry of genuine international students. For those students, the department provides a convenient, efficient service.

‘The message is clear: genuine international students remain welcome in Australia, but we will not tolerate fraud in the student visa program.’

The measures are part of the Government’s ongoing response to any changes in risk in visa programs and will build on work already conducted across the student visa program to combat fraud as it emerges. Similar arrangements are already in place for students from other countries, such as Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

‘Student visa requirements are aligned to the immigration risk presented by an applicant. The greater the risk identified, the more evidence required to be granted a student visa. Risk is determined by an objective analysis of visa compliance,’ Senator Evans said.

The next formal review of student visa risk framework is scheduled for 2010. The data obtained from the enhanced checking of student visa applications will help inform future reviews.

Source  :  http://www.minister.immi.gov.au/media/media-releases/2009/ce09075.htm

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Relocating from the UK and now living in Perth I sometimes forget how lucky I am to be here with two young children, the great outdoorperth-children life with the room to roam the parks and gardens of  WA, most with no entry fee. 

Living the outdoor life in Perth City we are lucky enough to have the recreational facilities on our doorstep. 

Kings Park is definately for me the daddy of all parks with the fantastic location and views which managed to bring a tear to my eye the first time I ever went.

There are other free entry parks to enjoy such as Whiteman Park where families can enjoy a day out with cycle paths, walking trails, bbq’s, paddling pool and childrens play areas.  There is a wildlife park there which does charge for entry, you can walk through the Kangaroos and see the Koalas.

Wanneroo has a great park called Rotary Park which has just been refurbished to a very high standard with a fantastic play area for the children, great park for birthday celebrations with bbq’s available.

Also in Wanneroo are the Botanical Gardens with older style gardens, leafy hideaways, waterlily filled ponds and waterfalls.  This has a charge of $4 entry for adults which includes a tea or coffee, free entry for the children.  Mini golf is there which is an extra cost.  It is also great place to listen to free live music on a Friday and Saturday nights.

With all the parks, gardens and beaches in  Perth WA  if you pack a picnic or make use of the barbecue facilities, you can have a great day out without a great deal of cost.

Now I’m off to pick the kids up from school,  grab a pizza from Eable Boys for $10,  go to our local park eat our pizza and the kids can play on a winters day !! 

How Lucky am I.

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ritary parkThis site is a guide to finding coffee in Perth’s playgrounds and parks, created by a Perth family.

We are a family of two children who love playgrounds, and two parents who love coffee. We made this website to tell other parents of places we have found in Perth where you have coffee in the park while the kids play on the playground. 

New changes – over the Easter weekend we changed the menus – the list of parks is getting bigger and we have divided it up into a Perth Playgrounds South and Perth Playgrounds North menu.  We are also compiling a list of great parks without coffee – due to the huge number of suggestions we have received from parents across Perth. 

What counts as a coffee in the park?                                                                                      

To count as an official ‘coffee in the park’ a park need to have two essential criteria – a playground and a nearby source of takeaway espresso coffee. The two must be no more than a short walk from each other. These free public parks are listed in the two Perth Playgrounds menus. 

We also know of many other great playgrounds that unfortunately don’t have a built-in source of caffeine, so while they don’t qualify as a coffee in the park, we have created a new category for the site called Great Parks – No Coffee and will soon list them here. 

Under the Other Cool Places menu we have included places to play that are ‘pay for entry’ or which are fun places to play, without actually being formal playgrounds.

www.acoffeeinthepark.com

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