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Tuesday, 19 June 2001
Page: 28022

Mr Gibbons asked the Prime Minister, upon notice, on 5 April 2001:

What has happened to the level of public sector employment in (a) Bendigo and (b) the Loddon Mallee statistical region since the Coalition came to office in 1996.

Mr Howard (Prime Minister) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

I am advised by my department that the information sought by the honourable member is not available for the following reasons:

The honourable member has asked for information in relation to `public sector employment' which takes in employment not only at the Commonwealth level but also at the State and local levels. My department does not hold information on Victorian public sector employment at the State and local levels.

In relation to that part of the honourable member's question touching only on the Commonwealth, the description `public sector employment' encompasses not only employment under the Public Service Act 1999 in the Australian Public Service (APS), on which statistics are collected by the Public Service and Merit Protection Commission (PSMPC), but also extends to employment in the defence forces, statutory authorities and government business enterprises, the numbers for which are not collected centrally.

The PSMPC, consistent with its mandate, only collects data on APS employment. In relation to APS employment, between 1995-96 and 1998-99 the PSMPC collected location data based on the state location of the pay centre from which the employee was being paid rather than the location in which they were employed. In 1999-2000, the collection method changed to the number of persons at individual workplaces, ordered against postcodes supplied by employing bodies. This data, aggregated at the state level, is publicly available in the PSMPC's Statistical Bulletin for each of the financial years. However, the PSMPC is aware that this information is not comprehensive for each post code as a number of agencies have provided employee location data only down to the state level. The PSMPC does not collect data specifically relating to APS employment in the Loddon Mallee statistical region.