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Thursday, 4 December 1986
Page: 3455

(Question No. 1434)

Senator Kilgariff asked the Minister representing the Minister for Territories, upon notice, on 14 October 1986:

(1) Does the Federal Government intend to review the arrangements relating to contracts of employment for employees in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands; if so, is it anticipated that employment contracts may be altered so that they cover a period of 2 or more years, rather than the present situation where they are only for one year's employment, with the possibility of an extension.

(2) If the period of employment is extended to 2 years, with the possibility of extensions, will the contract include provisions for either party to withdraw from the agreement with the consent of the other party.

Senator Gietzelt —The Minister for Territories has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) Officers in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands are employed by the Administration and other Commonwealth bodies for periods of time varying from 12 months to two years, on long-term temporary transfer, secondment from mainland Departments or specific contracts of employment. These arrangements take into account the unique circumstances of the Territory, and provide flexibility for both employer and employee.

(2) If the Department of Territories were to review the duration of employment of Administration officers, the question of withdrawal from the contract before its expiry will be considered as part of that review. In any case, if an officer employed in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Administration wished to return to the mainland before completing his or her period of employment, that application would certainly be considered on its merits.