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Tuesday, 3 July, 2001, 13:29 GMT 14:29 UK
Visa worries for Eminem
Eminem
Eminem has several convictions for gun crimes
Controversial rap star Eminem has yet to apply for a visa to enter Australia where he is due to tour, according to officials.

Members of the country's ruling Liberal Party are calling for the rapper to be banned from entering because of the extreme nature of his lyrics and his criminal record.

Eminem is due to perform dates at the end of July with his band D12 but immigration officials have said he has yet to apply for a visa.

MP Peter Slipper, who branded the star's lyrics "sickening", has called on Prime Minister John Howard to bar entry to Eminem.

Eminem
Politicians are concerned about Eminem's lyrics
However the star's tour promoter Michael Gudinski told the Sydney Morning Herald that Eminem will apply for a visa on Wednesday, after being cleared by the Musicians Union and the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance to perform.

Eminem is not just a controversial figure because of his lyrics - he is currently on probation following two court appearances for carrying a gun.

He was recently sentenced to one year's probation and community service after pleading no contest to gun charges after a row with rival band, the Insane Clown Posse.

'Disenchanted'

The sentence is in addition to the two years' probation he received in April to a weapons charge in Macomb County, Michigan.

Mr Slipper said he supported free speech but believed Eminem went too far.

He said in a statement: "There is no way the Australian government should allow those who pray on the disenchanted and disillusioned youth of Australia to visit our country and promote a culture of drugs, violence and foul language."

Mr Slipper is supporting the Australian Family Association which has called the Grammy winner misogynistic and homophobic.

Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock said the government had yet to receive an entertainment visa application.

He said Eminem would have to pass the same rigorous character checks as everyone else in order to be allowed into Australia.

Mr Howard has spoken of his concern surrounding the case and the negative impact the star could have on young fans.

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