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Monday, 4 June 1984
Page: 2404

Senator HAMER —I ask the Minister for Social Security: When will recruiting of staff to handle the new assets test commence? Can the Minister give an assurance that such recruitment will not commence before the passage of the legislation because that could result in waste, as did the $11m of taxpayers' money expended already on the first discredited and now abandoned version of the assets test?

Senator GRIMES —I have no knowledge of the exact date when recruitment of staff will start. Already some staff have been recruited by the Department, as have some staff who were recruited to the Department on loan to other departments for the previous assets test. It is normal practice in our system of government, as it was normal practice for the previous Government, that in anticipation of legislation like this passing-I have no indication that it will not pass-the recruitment of staff occurs. I will get the exact details about when such staff may be recruited and get the information to the honourable senator.