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Wednesday, 24 August 1994
Page: 296

(Question No. 1501)


Senator Patterson asked the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, upon notice, on 29 June 1994:

  With reference to question on notice No. 621 (Senate Hansard, 16 November 1993, page 2956), Senator Bolkus stated that as Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs he was responsible for making appointments to the National Committee for the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development (ICPU) 1994 and reference was made to the Register of Women in making appointments to the ICPU; however, in answer to questions asked by Senator Patterson in Senate Estimates Committee A regarding searches made on the Register of Women in the 1993-94 financial year, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet stated that only one search was requested by the office of the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs on 23 November 1993 and another by the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs on 11 April 1994, please explain the apparent discrepancy between the answer to question on notice No. 621 and the answer provided by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to Senate Estimates Committee A.


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

  As I explained in my answer to part (2) of question on notice No. 621 of 28 September 1993, I made appointments to the National Committee taking into account recommendations made by the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, which had consulted with agencies represented on an inter-departmental Committee concerned with population matters. This Committee included a range of agencies, including the Office of the Status of Women, which has direct access to the Register of Women.

  I would note that I did not state, nor was it implied given the structure of question on notice No. 621, that I, my Office or the Department directly referred to the Register. I would also note that the reply to question on notice No. 621 was cleared with all agencies on the Committee.