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Tuesday, 21 August 1984
Page: 84

(Question No. 958)

Senator Reynolds asked the Minister for Social Security, upon notice, on 12 June 1984:

Can the Minister for Social Security explain why Aboriginal liaison officers operate under different guidelines in Queensland's offices of the Department of Social Security where regional directors have insisted these officers report via social work staff.

Senator Grimes —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

In Queensland Aboriginal liaison officers report to the Regional Manager and other senior staff via the senior social worker in each office. In other states Aboriginal liaison officers generally report directly to regional managers but individual arrangements are made to accommodate different circumstances.

In Queensland it has been possible to utilise a uniform arrangement throughout the State. Largely because of the wide span of responsibility of regional managers in the larger offices in which Aboriginal liaison officers are typically appointed, the senior social worker is best able to provide the desirable level of consultation necessary to ensure that Aboriginal liaison officers receive appropriate support and assistance in co-ordinating those activities which impact on the responsibilities of other areas in the regional office.