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Friday, 28 November 1986
Page: 4087

(Question No. 4954)

Mr Braithwaite asked the Prime Minister, upon notice, on 26 November 1986:

Did he state, on 12 August 1986, that the Commonwealth would offer redeployment to as many of the staff of the Australian Council for Inter-government Relations (ACIR) as possible; if so, is it a fact that (a) not one single member of ACIR's staff has been offered redeployment by the Commonwealth and (b) these persons are all now unemployed.

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

In a letter of 12 August 1986 to the Premiers, the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory and the President of the Australian Council of Local Government Associations I noted that the Commonwealth would offer redeployment to as many of the staff of ACIR as possible but that the need for some compulsory retirements might arise.

In the event, legal and practical constraints limited the scope for direct assistance by the Commonwealth regarding permanent or ongoing temporary employment. Only one staff member was eligible for redeployment but elected not to exercise that right. His right of re-entry arose out of former employment in the Australian Public Service (APS). Under the relevant Public Service determination other staff could only be employed through selection for APS positions publicly advertised.

The Public Service Board (PSB) held discussions with staff of ACIR to provide assistance in identifying and pursuing available APS positions, and has continued to provide such assistance. The PSB also extended the closing date for Assistant Research Officer positions to enable ACIR staff to apply.

At the winding-up of ACIR all staff took advantage of the redundancy package approved by ACIR. Since then I am aware that at least one former staff member has obtained other employment.