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Thursday, 5 December 1974
Page: 4762

Mr Snedden asked the Minister for the Capital Territory, upon notice:

(   1 ) What is the function of the community development officer who has been appointed for the new city of Tuggeranong.

(2)   How many community development officers have been appointed in the A.C.T.

(3)   To which suburbs have they been appointed.

(4)   Who are they.

(5)   Does the Government intend to appoint additional community development officers.

(6)   If so, how many and when, and in which suburbs or cities.

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

(   1 ) The function of the community development officer is to facilitate the development of cultural, recreational, welfare and social groups in Tuggeranong. He was appointed by the Australian Council of Social Services of the A.C.T. and is paid by them using subventions from the Department of the Capital Territory.

(2)   One.

(3   ) The one officer appointed is focused on the developing Tuggeranong area, the first suburb of which is Kambah.

(4)   Mr fanHoward Black.

(5)   and (6) Funding of further appointments is not contemplated by the Department as yet. The experiment is being watched with great interest.

Publication 'Secrecy- Political Censorship in Australia' (Question No. 1779)

Mr Ruddock asked the Prime Minister, upon notice:

(1)   Has his attention been drawn to the publication 'Secrecy- Political Censorship in Australia', by Mr J. J. Spigelman, in particular, pages 177 to 180, 'An Inside Dopesters Index of 100 Examples of Secrecy '.

(2)   If so, does the publication specify that these one hundred items of information were not publicly disclosed up until 1972.

(3)   How many of these items have been made publicly available since he first took office.

(4)   If all of them are not now readily available, what is the reason for the continuing secrecy in each case.

(3)   Of those available, when and in what manner were the public disclosures made.

(6)   By whom were these public disclosures made.

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

(   I ) to (6) I am, of course, aware of the book to which the honourable member refers. The author is now my Principal Private Secretary and I did most of the research for the book.

With respect to the items listed in this index and the many other examples of secrecy of which my Government became aware on assuming office, the honourable member would be aware that most are of historical interest only. On 2 April 1973, I wrote to all Ministers suggesting that they exercise their discretion on items of current interest and in cases of doubt should await the criteria for release of documents in the proposed Freedom 'of Information Act. I believe a number of documents were released in 1973. If the honourable member is interested in any of the particular documents, I suggest he ask the Minister responsible.

I refer the honourable member to the Report of the Interdepartmental Committee on Proposed Freedom of Information Legislation which was tabled today in the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Government intends to enact legislation of this kind next year after the public debate arising from the release of this report.

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