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Tuesday, 8 November 1977
Page: 3177

Mr E G Whitlam (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) am asked the Minister for the Northern Territory, upon notice, on 5 October 1977:

(1)   How many books were catalogued and available to the public in public libraries in the Northern Territory before Cyclone Tracy, and how many are catalogued and available now.

(2)   How many library staff were employed in public libraries in the Territory before Cyclone Tracy and how many are employed now.

(3)   When was his attention drawn to the report which the Committee of Inquiry into Public Libraries presented on 27 February 1976.

(4)   What steps have been taken to implement the Committee's recommendations that (a) a central Territorial library be established in Darwin and (b) a feasibility study be commissioned to determine the desirability of introducing an integrated library and information service for the Territory.

Mr AdermannThe answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

Responsibility for public libraries hi the Northern Territory was transferred to the Northern Territory Executive on 1 January 1977. However, I am advised by the Northern Territory Executive Member for Community and Social Development that-

(1)   Combined Northern Territory bookstocks before Cyclone Tracy numbered approximately 74,000. Approximately 45,000 books are currently catalogued and available to the public. A further 60,000 uncatalogued books are held in store.

(2)   The Northern Territory Library Service had a precyclone staff establishment of 36. Twenty officers are currently employed including five part-time.

(3)   When the report of the Committee of Inquiry into Public Libraries was tabled in the House on 1 April 1976.

(4)   Consideration is being given to the establishment of a State-Type Library in Darwin. However, the rehabilitation of existing library services is receiving priority over this project.

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