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Friday, 28 November 1986
Page: 2969


Senator GARETH EVANS (Minister for Resources and Energy)(10.45) —The cost of the move to Sydney is assessed at $1.3m on a one-off basis. No significant additional ongoing expenditure is anticipated. It is proposed to maintain an office of the Human Rights Commission in Canberra. It remains to be seen whether it will be in precisely the same location. Clearly, it will have a staff which is appropriate to the size of the Canberra exercise, rather than the national one. I am not privy to all of the Attorney-General's thinking as to reasons or motivations. All I can do is to repeat what he said, that is, it is desired to move the Commission to a major population centre-where there is more human rights action, if one likes, than is the case in the collectivist paradise in the Australian Capital Territory-and a location where it will be more accessible and visible, perhaps, to the community at large. Beyond that, I have no further information. But it is certainly not anticipated to ride rough-shod over the rights or career prospects of any current employees.