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Wednesday, 1 June 1994
Page: 1147

(Question No. 1350)

Senator Patterson asked a number of Ministers, including the Minister for Primary Industries and Energy, upon notice on 3 May 1994:

  With reference to the Federal Labor Caucus motion of 21 August 1988 requiring women to be appointed to at least 25 per cent of places on Government boards, councils and committees:

  For each of the boards, councils and committees to which the Minister has the power to appoint members, and for all of these combined:

  (1) How many positions were available for appointment on

21 August 1988 and are now available.

  (2) How many of these positions were held by women on

21 August 1988 and are now held by women.

  (3) What changes do the resulting proportions represent since the Labor Caucus motion.

Senator Collins —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

  (1) The Department uses the APPOINT database set up by the Office of the Status of Women across all Commonwealth Departments to retain information on appointments to Government boards, councils and committees, including ex officio appointments and appointments of members nominated by industry bodies.

  The database was not established in 1988. However, the Departmental Annual Report for 1988-89 indicates that there were 39 statutory bodies and 49 non-statutory bodies. Of the 49 non-statutory bodies, 19 had membership comprising persons other than Commonwealth or State ministers or ex officio appointees.

  There were 208 positions available on the 19 non-statutory bodies. Membership of the statutory bodies is not reported.

  On 31 March 1994 there were 945 positions on primary and energy industries bodies on the APPOINT database.

  (2) Of the 208 positions on non-statutory bodies in 1988 reported in the Departmental Annual Report, 5 were women.

  Of the 945 positions on primary and energy industries bodies recorded on the APPOINT database as at 31 March 1994, 57 were held by women.

  (3) The proportion of women on the non-statutory bodies in 1988 was 2.4%.

  On 31 March 1994 the proportion of women on primary industries and energy bodies was 6.1%.