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Wednesday, 20 August 1980
Page: 568

Dr Cass asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 29 April 1980:

(1)   How many persons born overseas (indicating country of birth) are employed by his Department.

(2)   How many of these persons are employed on a (a) temporary and (b) permanent basis and in what classifications are they employed.

(3)   How many bi-lingual and multi-lingual staff members are employed by his Department in counter situations and/or in close contact with members of the public.

(4)   Does his Department have translating facilities; if so, (a) what languages are involved and (b) how many persons are working in the area and what are their classifications.

(5)   If his Department does not have interpreting and translating facilities, what arrangements are made for performing these tasks.

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

(1   ) and (2) Collective statistics on employees' countries of birth are not maintained and I am not prepared to authorise the use of the extensive resources which would be involved in manually extracting the information required from appointment records.

(3)   None.

(4)   My Department has two formal translating positions. They are:

Translator Grade 4, Supply Division, Melbourne. Languages - French, German, Italian.

Translator Grade 3, HQ Support Command, Air Office, Melbourne. Languages - French and Italian.

My Department also has a number of staff trained in foreign languages for operational purposes.

(5)   Should the situation arise in which language skills were required which were outside my Department's resources, assistance would be sought from the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs.

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