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Tuesday, 13 May 2008
Page: 1624

Senator Minchin asked the Minister representing the Minister for Tourism, upon notice, on 12 February 2008:

As at 26 November 2007, with reference to the department and all agencies in the Minister’s portfolio:

(1)   How many employees are engaged in positions responsible for public affairs, media management, liaison with the media and media monitoring.

(2)   What are the responsibilities of these staff.

(3)   What are the Australian Public Service classifications of these positions.

(4)   For each of the financial years 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11, what is the current operating budget for these media-related sections within the department or agency.

Senator Sherry (Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law) —The Minister for Tourism has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

The information provided below relates to the Minister’s portfolio after the machinery of government changes which took place on 3 December 2007.

Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism:

(1)   , (2) & (3) As at 4 December 2007, the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism had no employees engaged in positions responsible for public affairs, media management, liaison or media monitoring. Media and public affairs services were being provided by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.

(4)   As the Department has just been established it has yet to create its internal budget allocations.

Tourism Australia:

(1)   Tourism Australia employs a team of seven people with responsibility for Corporate Communications in the Sydney Office. One of these employees, the Public Affairs Manager, is directly responsible for public affairs, management and liaison with Australian based media.

(2)   The Public Affairs Manager is responsible for engaging Australian news and relevant trade media to promote Tourism Australia’s activities and programs to build the organisation’s reputation amongst stakeholders and the broader community, and to position TA as the ‘experts’ in branding Australia and international marketing. Through proactive media relations, the Public Affairs Manager also builds community understanding of the importance of tourism in the Australian economy and the role that Tourism Australia plays in increasing those benefits to the Australian people.

(3)   Tourism Australia does not employ staff under the APS, rather Tourism Australia has its own grading structure of 7 bands. The position of Public Affairs Manager is a Band 3 position.

(4)   The budget for media relations in 07/08 is $185,000. Budgets for forward years have not currently been finalised.