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Tuesday, 18 November 1986
Page: 2391


Senator GRIMES (Minister for Community Services)(3.53) —I am sorry that I did not clarify that. The Department is aware that in not getting the problems resolved within 45 days in that number of cases it is in breach of the legislation. The Department believes that to overcome that it needs more resources. At the moment discussions are going on between the Department and not so much the Government as the Department of Finance as to what level those resources should be. One way or another, the Department is determined that it will overcome that situation. On the one hand we have the Department of Finance ever vigilant about the number of staff and on the other hand we have the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs believing that it needs more staff. Between those two the matter will be sorted out. It is certainly the Government's policy to see that this is carried out. I can only say that the Government is determined that this will happen. I gather that in the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs there are a whole lot of frivolous freedom of information requests. Therefore, the Government and the Department are determined that this will be carried out. The Department of Finance and the Public Service Board ever vigilant are determined that it will be carried out in the most economical way.