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Wednesday, 13 May 1970

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) asked the Minister for External Territories, upon notice:

(1)   On what basis did the Administration of the Territory of Papua and New Guinea make the assessment that an expatriate patrol officer is worth four times the amount paid to a native patrol officer.

(2)   Why are native teachers, education officers, nurses, co-operative officers, artisans and stenographers paid less than one-third the wage rates of their expatriate counterparts.

(3)   Can natives in the abovementioned categories purchase food, clothing and household goods and appliances at lower prices than are available to their expatriate counterparts.

(4)   If so, what is the extent of the reductions.

Mr Barnes - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   and (2) The salaries paid to local officers of the Territory Public Service as determined on the re-construction of the Service in 1964 were related to the conditions of Papua and New Guinea.

In the course of hearings before the Public Service Arbitrator in 1965-66 some adjustments were made by the Administration. The Arbitrator's decision of May 1967 awarded further increases.

Copies of that decision are available in the Parliamentary Library.

Salaries now paid to local officers are in accordance with the Arbitrator's decision except that in some categories further upward adjustments have been made under the provisions of the Public Service Ordinance.

The remuneration of overseas officers consists of the same rate of salary as for local officers plus an overseas allowance to bring their remuneration to a level comparable with that payable for corresponding kinds of work in Australia plus a Territory allowance.

All salaries and allowances are open to arbitration under the Public Services Conciliation and Arbitration Ordinance 1969.

(3)   and (4) No.

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