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Thursday, 7 June 1984
Page: 2792

(Question No. 656)

Senator Primmer asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice , on 29 February 1984:

(1) How many Commonwealth public servants have retired over the past 10 years on the grounds of 'ill health'.

(2) How many of these were genuine cases of ill health and how many were in fact 'whistle-blowers' who were urged by one means or another to opt out.

Senator Button —The Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Public Service Matters has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) The Public Service Board has advised that final figures are not yet available for the calendar year 1983 but there was a total of 10,945 invalidity retirements of permanent officers of the Australian Public Service in the 10- year period 1973-1982 as follows:

1973 593 1974 628 1975 729 1976 1,137 1977 1,805 1978 1,862 1979 1, 533 1980 1,153 1981 725 1982 780


(2) Under the Commonwealth Employees (Redeployment and Retirement) Act, officers may be retired only where:

A medical officer employed by the Department of Health has found that the officer is permanently unfit for his normal duties,

there is no other suitable work in the officer's department which he is fit to perform,

the Board has certified that it is not practicable to redeploy the officer elsewhere in the Australian Public Service on suitable work at or below his level on duties which he is fit to perform.

Decisions on invalidity are not based on officers' activities such as those described by the honourable senator as 'whistle-blowing'.