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Friday, 10 May 1985
Page: 1762


The PRESIDENT —During the adjournment debate on Wednesday evening Senator Missen complained about the delay in the printing of the Senate Hansard for Tuesday, 7 May. Yesterday morning I transmitted Senator Missen's complaint to the responsible Minister, the Hon. J. J. Brown, and last night I incorporated in Hansard the prompt response I received that day from the Minister. This morning I received a letter from Mr C. J. Thompson, the Government Printer, on the same subject. Because of the interest of honourable senators in the matter, I seek leave to incorporate in Hansard Mr Thompson's letter to me. I add that I also appreciate very much Mr Thompson's early personal response.

Leave granted.

The letter read as follows-

Senator the Hon. Douglas McClellandPresident of the SenateParliament HouseCanberra, A.C.T. 2600

My dear Mr President

I am aware that Mr Brown has advised you of the reasons for the recent delays in the publishing of Hansards. Because of the very close and traditional association the Government Printer has with Parliament I wish to advise you personally of the difficulties we are encountering with the production of Parliamentary work this Session.

Staff ceilings, repetition strain injuries, sick and long term leave and a shortage of trades staff coupled with a record number of Bills have caused serious bottlenecks in our typesetting section.

We are taking all steps possible to alleviate the situation and anticipate improvements in deliveries as from next week. I would like to assure you of the commitment of the Printing Office towards the timely and efficient production of Parliamentary publications.

I take this opportunity to advise that we have purchased our new computerised phototypesetting and are expecting delivery within the next few weeks. The Penta system is of the latest technology and will provide for a more efficient and effective operation. Our staff will be undergoing training over the next few weeks and we will be operational with the new system for the oncoming Budget Sitting of Parliament. My officers and myself will be liaising with your staff regarding the introduction of the new system in due course.

Yours sincerelyC. J. THOMPSONGovernment Printer

10 May 1985