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Tuesday, 23 August 1983
Page: 87

Question No. 107


Mr Bilney asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice, on 10 May 1983:

(1) How many Australian-based officers of his department were stationed overseas in Australian posts served by the Australian Government telecommunications network in (a) 1980, (b) 1981 and (c) 1982.

(2) What was the total expenditure of the Department on international telephone calls to and from Australia in each of those years.


Mr Kerin —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) In each of the years 1980, 1981 and 1982 two officers on the establishment of the Department of Primary Industry were stationed overseas in Australian posts served by the Australian Government telecommunications network. Four other officers were also stationed overseas during these three years, but for the period of their posting such officers were appointed as Trade Commissioners.

(2) Information on departmental expenditure on international telephone calls to and from Australia is not readily obtainable. The principal reasons for this are :

(a) Telephone calls in relation to the Department's Central Office in the Edmund Barton Building, Industry House and John Curtin House are paid for by the Department of Industry and Commerce,

(b) The cost of all telephone calls made from overseas missions are met by the Department responsible for the administration of the overseas mission which in the case in question is the Department of Foreign Affairs.