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Wednesday, 8 May 1985
Page: 1594

(Question No. 144)

Senator Reid asked the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Public Service Matters, upon notice, on 26 March 1985:

(1) How many public servants are attending courses run by the Public Service Board or tertiary institutions for members of the Commonwealth Public Service.

(2) How many interpreters and note-takers are available to assist a deaf public servant participate in such courses.

Senator Walsh —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) The training and development statistics for the period 1 July to 31 December 1984 indicate that 9 031 public servants attended courses run by the Public Service Board.

Since 1 July 1984, 85 public servants have attended, under the sponsorship of the Public Service Board, courses run by tertiary institutions; these courses are not specifically designed for members of the Commonwealth Public Service.

Departmental statistics on the numbers of public servants attending public sector orientated courses run by tertiary institutions are not centrally collated by the Public Service Board.

(2) The Public Service Board knows of only two people in Canberra who are sufficiently proficient to provide interpreting for in-service training. A further 18 casual interpreters of varying degrees of experience and proficiency have recently indicated an interest in providing their skills. The Board is hoping to have their level of skill assessed shortly by the National Accreditation Authority for Interpreters and Translators (NAATI).

The Public Service Board is unaware of any full-time notetakers in the ACT.

NAATI has advised that there are in Australia 36 accredited sign interpreters and 35 accredited lipspeakers available as interpreters but not only for the Commonwealth Public Service. The table below indicates the availability of these interpreters Australia-wide.

Sign Interpreters Lip Speakers

Level 3


Level 1 Level 2 tested) Level 1 Level 2

N.S.W. 3 7 0 4 9 Vic. 3 8 0 4 8 Qld 0 5 0 0 3 S.A. 3 0 0 4 0 W.A. 0 7 0 0 3 Tas. 0 0 0 0 0 N.T. 0 0 0 0 0 A.C.T. 0 0 0 0 0 Australia 9 27 0 12 23

The associations for the deaf in each State have also advised that there are a further approximately 16 full-time interpreters, 39 casual interpreters and 20 casual notetakers but their availability to the Commonwealth Public Service is not a high priority.