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Posts Tagged ‘prosecuted’

The professional association representing migration agents, the Migration Institute of Australia, is concerned about allegations raised on tonight’s Four Corners program on migration and education scams.

“Unfortunately, hearing reports about international students and visa applicants falling prey to unscrupulous operators is not a new issue”, says Maurene Horder, CEO of the Migration Institute of Australia.

In May 2008, the MIA reported 60 rogue agents from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship and is unaware if any of these were prosecuted.

Any unethical or illegal behaviour by registered migration agents is not tolerated by the Institute and should be cracked down on by the Department.

“We’ve been asking government to sort out problems with education agents and illegal or unscrupulous operators for an extended period of time. The announcement that education agents will have a register is a first step but doesn’t go far enough in reforming the sector,” says Ms Horder.

A recent independent report, entitled Changing Together, confirms the nature of some of the problems which affects the profession – that the bad behaviour of a minority of unscrupulous operators’ impacts negatively on the entire migration advice profession.

“Following the report’s release, the MIA is acting on a comprehensive range of reforms to strengthen standards and ethics of migration agents.” says Ms Horder. These include:

• Comprehensive reform to the education and training of agents
• Requiring current Registered Migration Agents to requalify to a higher standard of English language and professional competence
• Introduce a tiered system of registration to protect consumers
• Formation of an independent complaints body with the power to review fees

Responsibility for change should be shared by education providers, the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

“I wait with interest to see tonight’s Four Corners episode and hope that it will provide an added impetus for the key stakeholders to come together and develop appropriate policies to meet Australia’s educational and immigration interests without anyone being exploited.”

  • Source  :  www.mia.org.au
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    A Swan Valley tourist resort is the latest outlet to be named and shamed on WA’s ever-growing filthy restaurant register.

    The Swan Valley Oasis Restaurant and Function Centre at Henley Brook is the 46th eatery to be so exposed on the ‘Notifications of Convictions’ list published by the the WA Health Department.

    As revealed first on WAtoday, the venue was fined $8,750, and ordered to pay $1571.70 in costs, for hygiene breaches including:                swan valley

    – allowing vermin into the restaurant;
    – exposing food to possible contamination; and
    – failing to ensure the premises and appliances were clean.

    The restaurant is part of the Swan Valley Oasis Resort, which also boasts a golf course and boutique brewery.

    The eatery serves breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week, and is a popular wedding reception venue.

    Testimonials on the venue’s website include one from Helen, of Hong Kong.

    “Clean, relaxed and family-friendly – really pleased to have found a nice, reasonably-priced place to stay before heading out of Perth,” Helen wrote.

    According to the website, Rebecca, of Paynes Find, was “pleasantly surprised by the quality of the meals and service”.  Samantha, of Albany, found the venue “very clean and neat” and said she would “definitely be back”.

    Since September 2006, the 46 prosecuted food outlets have together been fined in excess of $170,000.

    However, this might only be the thin edge of the potato wedge, because it is not compulsory for local authorities to report breaches to the government.

    Hence, only hygiene breaches in 11 of WA’s 139 local authorities appear on the government’s dirt list.

    After WAtoday.com.au exposed the initial 41 list inductees in January, Health Minister Kim Hames rejected a call by consumer group Choice to post hygiene ratings on restaurant doors.

    Mr Hames said that hygeine breaches from every local council would be added to the list when mandatory reporting was introduced under a new Food Act that is being drafted.

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