Australia has created a ministerial advisory committee, made up of 12 members of the country's Spanish-speaking minority, to deal with immigration and multicultural matters, government officials said.

The organization plans to "air the problems, worries and ideas about the future and its challenges" that it sees facing Australia, Alexis Esposto, professor of economy at Swinburne University and a member of the committee, told SBS radio.

According to the latest census taken in 2006, more than 87,000 people speak Spanish in their homes in Australia, a country of some 22 million inhabitants.

Esposto and the 11 other committee members will meet at least twice a year with the ministers of immigration, Chris Bowen, and multicultural affairs, Kate Lundy, and will hold an annual forum to establish and maintain communications with the Cabinet.

Australian authorities have also created in recent months other advisory committees of different nationalities - Italian, Filipino and Chinese, among others - an Immigration Ministry spokesperson told Efe on Monday. EFE