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Wednesday, 10 December 1986
Page: 3769

(Question No. 1430)

Senator Kilgariff asked the Minister representing the Minister for Territories, upon notice, on 14 October 1986:

(1) What is now considered to be the economic life of phosphate mining on Christmas Island.

(2) How many mine workers are expected to be employed up until the closure of the mine.

(3) How many of the 150 mine workers recently made redundant are expected to remain on Christmas Island.

(4) What training will be provided for the redundant mine workers, and in what areas are they expected to be re-employed.

Senator Gietzelt —The Minister for Terri- tories has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) 3 years.

(2) About 280.

(3) Preliminary results from counselling sessions currently being undertaken on the Island by the Departments of Employment and Industrial Relations and Territories would suggest that approximately one third of the 150 will remain on the Island, one third are seriously considering resettling elsewhere, and a further third remain undecided.

(4) Current training courses on the Island are in English, Job Oriented Migrant English and Clerical Skills which were developed to take account of the current skills, knowledge and aspirations of the Islanders. Approximately half of the 150 redundant workers are currently attending one or other of these courses. Islanders who resettle on the mainland will have access to normal mainland retraining courses. Re-employment of redundant workers who remain on the Island is expected to be in areas related to the developing tourist industry.