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Wednesday, 24 May 1972
Page: 2964

Mr FULTON (LEICHHARDT, QUEENSLAND) - My question is directed to the Minister for External Territories. Some years ago the Government advertised for young men who had a certain education standard to make a career for themselves in New Guinea as patrol officers. Since then they have married and have families. Is it true that they will lose their careers soon, and has the Government made any attempt to absorb them within the Public Service in Australia or provide them with any other positions within government organisations in Australia?

Mr PEACOCK - Both contract officers and permanent officers are covered by legislation that does give them* an opportunity to resume careers back in Australia. What the honourable member for Leichhardt is talking about, I assume, are the representations that have been made to me by the Public Service Association in particular. I have had 3 discussions with representatives of that association since becoming Minister for External Territories. I have indicated to them that I am keeping a close watch on the movements within Papua New Guinea and I am carefully considering the matters that have been placed before me. When the Government reaches a decision on the representations that have been made to me and when I have had an opportunity to discuss them with the Administrator's Executive Council, I will be able to give the honourable member further information.

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