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Monday, 27 September 1993
Page: 1225

(Question No. 27)

Senator Alston asked the Minister representing the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 30 March 1993:

  (1) Does the department routinely disseminate or circulate all or some of the media releases of its responsible Minister or Ministers, to organisations apart from national media organisations; if so, for what reasons are Ministerial media releases circulated by the department, and to how many individuals or organisations.

  (2) For each, and which, Ministerial media release circulated in the past 18 months, what was the estimated cost of printing and circulating the releases, and how many copies of the release were circulated.

  (3) Does the department circulate copies of some or all of the speeches made by the Minister; if so, for each of those circulated in the past 18 months, what was the estimated cost of printing and circulating the speech and how many copies of the speech were circulated.

Senator Bolkus —The Attorney-General, Mr Michael Lavarch, has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  (1) Yes, to fulfil public access and information responsibilities, the department forwards all media releases to a mailing list of law libraries, academics and individuals. All addressees on the list have requested that they be sent copies of releases. There are 246 addressees on the list.

  (2) One hundred and fourteen releases have been issued in the last 21 months to 246 individuals and organisation on the mailing list. The estimated total cost of the photocopying is $1009. Postage is saved by using IDES (the interdepartmental mail service) and posting releases to non-government recipients in batches of 6 or 7. Expenditure on postage is approximately $2804. Therefore the expected expenditure on photocopying and posting is around $3813.

  (3) Members of my staff and the Department occasionally put speeches in the Parliament House Press Gallery media boxes.

  Also from time to time, summaries of Ministerial speeches appear in Departmental newsletters. On most occasions when this occurs, readers are advised that a complete copy of the speech can be obtained by contacting the Department. Speeches on topical issues are occasionally sent to Departmental clients such as other government departments.

  The Department does not maintain records on the frequency of the distribution of copies of particular speeches, and it is not practical to isolate the specific costs, which would not be significant, from general administrative costs.