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Thursday, 18 November 1976
Page: 2928

Mr Innes (MELBOURNE, VICTORIA) asked the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, upon notice:

(1)   How many permanent (a) third and (b) fourth division officers are employed in his Department.

(2)   How many (a) temporary and (b) exempt employees are employed in his Department.

(3)   How many officers of the Department are acting on a long-term basis in positions higher than their substantive positions.

(4)   How many officers have been acting, and are acting, on a long-term basis for a period of (a) 3 to 6 months, (b) 6 to 12 months, (c) 1 to 2 years, (d) 2 to 3 years, (e) 3 to 4 years, (0 4 to 5 years, (g) 5 to 6 years, (h) 6 to 7 years and (i) more than 7 years.

Mr MacKellar (WARRINGAH, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   (a)872,(b)470.

(2)   (a)115,(b)7.

(3)   499.

(4)   (a) 68, (b) 90, (c) 128, (d) 106, (e) 66, (f) 22, (g) 4, (h)7,(i)8.

The level of acting duty prevailing in the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs results from the need to retain vacant positions in Canberra and State Branches into which officers returning from service overseas can be absorbed at their substantive classifications.

Reducing establishments overseas and in Australia and the structural rearrangements which have taken place affecting Immigration functions and staffing over recent years, have also been contributing factors.

The above figures were effective as at 31 August 1976. They include officers who hold positions (with exempt conditions) with the Committee on Overseas Professional Qualifications and officers working with the Commissioner for Community Relations.

Liaison Officers in Migration Posts (Question No. 973)

Mr Innes asked the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, upon notice:

(   1 ) How many liaison officers are based in migration posts overseas.

(   2 ) What are their functions and dudes.

(3)   What is their workload in each post, in terms of cases processed each year during the last 10 years.

(4)   How many rejections on liaison grounds by (a) post and ( b ) country have there been during the last 1 0 years.

(5)   In which posts are there liaison officers, and what are the geographical areas of their responsibilities.

(6)   In which posts are there no liaison officers, and by whom are their functions performed in these posts.

Mr MacKellar - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(   1) to (6) The function of liaison officers is to carry out checking of applicants for migration to Australia. A primary function is the screening out of extremists whose entry would be counter to Australia's interests, particularly those who may have a propensity towards violence in the pursuit of their aims. This latter category would include terrorists of all shades of opinion. It is not the practice to provide details on the number of liaison officers or their location abroad.

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