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Tuesday, 24 March 1987
Page: 1200


Senator BUTTON —At Question Time yesterday Senator Vigor asked me a question about advertising and recruitment in relation to the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and general government policy on the question of multicultural affairs. I have obtained an answer for him and, in view of the fact that it is somewhat lengthy, I seek leave to have it incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The answer read as follows-

1. Three Senior Executive Service positions for the Office were advertised in 17 capital city and major ethnic newspapers. In addition the positions were advertised in the Commonwealth Gazette. The advertisement and recruitment costs are detailed below:

$

Advertising in ethnic newspapers...1,710

Block* advertising...575

Applicants' airfares...930

(* i.e. PM&C proportion of PSB sponsored SES advertising in 3 major daily newspapers)

There were also other items of expenditure associated with the recruitment process that can not be itemised readily including costs for telephone interviews.

2. The Government has not yet finalised the general structure for the Office beyond the First Assistant Secretary (Level 4) and two Assistant Secretaries (Level 2). After consultation with ethnic communities and other organisations, the Office will submit a proposed structure outlining the administrative and policy staffing requirements necessary to most effectively carry out the Office's functions. It is expected that the structure will be finalised by June.

3. Rather than hastily establishing an Advisory Council or Office taking no account of community concerns, the Government is committed to consulting with ethnic communities and other relevant groups. The Government wishes the Office to be an efficient professionally staffed body which will assist both the Government and the wider community appreciate Australia's multi- cultural society. This can best be done once the views of the relevant groups on the role and priorities of the Advisory Council and the Office are determined.