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Wednesday, 27 March 1985
Page: 881

Senator ZAKHAROV —My question is addressed to the Minister for Community Services. What progress has been made in the establishment of an Office of Aged Care?

Senator Chipp —Did that question surprise you?

Senator GRIMES —It did, actually. In establishing my new Department, combining those aspects of the Department of Social Security dealing with services and the nursing home sections of the Department of Health, we are establishing an Office of Aged Care. Three problems have to be resolved at the moment, but I believe that they will be resolved very quickly. The first point is that I must go to my colleague on my right, Senator Walsh, and get sufficient staff for the new Department. Secondly, the new Head of the Department, Mr Codd, is drawing up with me a new departmental structure. Thirdly, obviously we will need to recruit staff for the Office of Aged Care. I suppose that a fourth question is whether that office should be in Canberra or in, say, Sydney or Melbourne, where the people we are dealing with actually are.