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Wednesday, 20 August 1980
Page: 574

Dr Cass asked the Minister representing the Minister for Social Security, upon notice, on Tuesday, 29 April 1980:

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

(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 the Department in counter situations and /or in close contact with members of the public.

(4)   Does the 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 the Department does not have interpreting and translating facilities, what arrangements are made for performing these tasks.

Mr Hunt - The Minister for Social Security has supplied the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(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)   Three hundred and sixty-two bi-lingual and multilingual staff members are employed in counter situations and/or in close contact with members of the public.

(4)   The Department has no translating facilities.

(5)   In addition to the language skills referred to in (3) all Regional Offices have access to the Telephone Interpreter Service of the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs. The Telephone Interpreter Service is also used to provide any translating needed by the Department's Regional Offices.

Other sources, such as the James Cook University (Qld) and the Migrant Information Service (NT) are used when necessary.

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