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New Australians

With the numbers of Britons wishing to migrate in decline, the Australian government recruited people from other sources. Agreements for indentured and assisted tradesmen or unskilled labourers and their families were soon in place.  These drew on the large pool of displaced persons from the Baltic States and central and eastern Europe under the care of the International Refugee Organisation. Large-scale immigration from non-English speaking European countries began in 1949.
Migrants from western and southern Europe who were selected because of their trade qualifications helped develop Western Australia's heavy industry projects such as Chamberlain tractors, the Wondowie charcoal, iron and steel industry, the Kwinana oil refinery, steel rolling and cement manufacturing projects and the alumina industry at Pinjarra.  Immigrants also worked in the asbestos mines at Wittenoom.

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