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Tuesday, 23 November 1965

Mr Collard d asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice -

1.   How many Aborigines are at present employed by his Department in (a) Queensland, (b) Western Australia and (c) South Australia, and on what type of work are they engaged?

2.   How many of those employed were engaged this year?

3.   Have all sections of the Department a sufficient work force?

4.   If not, which sections are below full strength, and what is the type of work for which labour is required?

Mr Hulme - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows -

1.   (a), (b) and (c). Aborigines are at present employed in Queensland, South Australia and

Western Australia in occupations as shown in the table below -


In addition to the foregoing, two non-official post offices in Queensland are conducted by Aborigines while in South Australia an Aborigine is employed part time as a cleaner.

2.   Ten of the 40 Aborigines employed full time were engaged during the calendar year 1965 as follows -


3 and 4. Arising from the full employment situation, the Commonwealth labour market is extremely competitive, particularly in the more populous States. In this situation, the Department, in common with other public and private employers, is experiencing difficulty in recruiting staff in numbers and quality to meet all requirements at all times.

In an undertaking employing more than 90,000 persons throughout Australia, there are inevitably vacancies at any point of time. The number, nature and location of these vacancies, however, vary from day to day.

There are persistent vacancies in all States for skilled tradesmen; in the metropolitan areas of Sydney and Melbourne for junior staff for telegram delivery duties; and in Canberra for postman, mail officer and postal officer. However, overall the staff is adequate to operate, maintain and develop Departmental services.

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