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Wednesday, 20 August 1980
Page: 567

Dr Klugman asked the Minister for Science and the Environment the following question, upon notice, on 23 April 1980:

(1   ) Was the building of the Australian Institute of Marine Science designed for a total staff of approximately 1 50.

(2)   Has his attention been drawn to reports of concern within the Institute that the Institute's building, is presently, with a staff of 84 (a) seriously under-utilised and (b) a demonstration of cost-ineffectiveness because on-going operating costs are proportionately high compared with the scientific activity presently taking place.

(3)   Is it proposed to undertake scientific recruitment: if so, would it be more cost-effective to expedite this recruitment.

Mr Thomson - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   The buildings of the Australian Institute of Marine Science were designed for a permanent staff of 130. The Institute can accommodate up to 20 additional personnel including visiting scientists.

(2)   (a) and (b) Since the facilities were completed in June 1977 gradual increases in staff ceilings have been approved each year though not yet to the level originally envisaged. This has been necessary as part of the Government's overall policy of financial restraint.

(3)   It is considered that a gradual expansion of staff is more practicable and efficient and would ultimately prove more effective than a sudden total increase to the full establishment originally envisaged.

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