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Thursday, 31 October 1974
Page: 2199

Senator Townley asked the Minister representing the Special Minister of State, upon notice:

(   1 ) Who are the members of the Priorities Review Staffof the Minister's Department.

(2)   What salaries are paid to the members of the staff.

(3)   What are the qualifications of the members.

(4)   What has been the cost of the Priorities Review Staff since its inception.

Senator Willesee - The Special Minister of State has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(   1 ) The Director of the Priorities Review Staff is Mr A. S. Holmes. He is presently assisted by two full-time Advisers. Dr D. A. Evans and Dr M. G. Porter, and four Assistants. During 1 973-74, the P.R.S. also included for several months, as full-time Advisers, Professor C. A. Hughes and Professor R. H. Snape. The P.R.S. is supported by staffof the Priorities Branch of my Department, and receives general administrative support from the Department. As the need arises from time to time, consultants are also employed.

(2)   Mr Holmes$25,235 salary. $1,200 allowance

Dr Porter$18,500

Dr Evansis employed under contract with W. D. Scott & Co. at a total cost of $25,000 per annum.

(3)   MrHolmes,M.A.

Dr Evans,B.E., M.S., M.A.. Ph.D.

Dr Porter,B.Ec, M.A., Ph.D.

(4)   The total cost of salaries paid to the Director, Advisers and Assistants to 30 June 1974, including leave and payment of employers' contributions to superannuation funds for seconded members of the P.R.S., was $ 1 04,4 1 6. Consultants ' fees were $2,128. Other costs incurred in the operation of the Priorities Review Staff and its administrative support are carried in the general appropriations of the Department of the Special Minister of State.


Senator Willesee - On 15 October Senator Mulvihill asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the following question, without notice:

1.   Will the Minister for Foreign Affairs comment on the impression prevalent among the Cypriot community that the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees appears to be very slow to assess the total refugee complement in Cyprus; and

2.   Is it possible that the Cypriot Government is reluctant to allow a large exodus of its population to other countries.

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

1   . It would not be true to say that the United Nations High Commissioner for Regugees has been slow in assessing the total size of the problem of displaced people on Cyprus. The Cypriot community may however have been referring to the inevitable delays that have occurred in locating and identifying specific individuals who have been displaced.

On 20 August, the Secretary General of the United Nations appointed the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to co-ordinate U.N. humanitarian assistance in Cyprus. His initial report, prepared after a visit to Cyprus from 22-27 August, included an assessment of the problem of displaced people. He estimated that a total of 223,600 people were in need on the island of whom 179,400 were displaced from their homes. Details will be found in United Nations Security Council document S/ 11488 of 4 September, 1974, which is available from the Parliamentary Library.

It is a separate, and more difficult and time consuming task to locate, identify and list the displaced people. They have of course left their last known address, and each case must be traced individually.

The International Committee of the Red Cross has established a Central Tracing Agency on Cyprus, with bureaus in various parts of the island, to trace displaced people. The Australian Red Cross has received 2,139 enquiries from the Cypriot community in Australia about the welfare of relatives.

The Australian Government's consular officer on Cyprus is also tracing and checking the welfare of Australian citizens.

2.   On 13 September, the Government of Cyprus imposed temporary restrictions aimed at preventing citizens of the Republic from leaving the island unless they secured an exit permit from the Ministry of the Interior. The permit is necessary for male citizens between the ages of IS and 60 and for females aged 1 5 to 55. Permits can be issued, however, to those who are normally resident overseas, holders of foreign passports, and those producing evidence of acceptance of their entry for permanent residence in a foreign country.

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