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Thursday, 22 May 1980
Page: 3230

Mr Humphreys asked the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister, upon notice, on 17 April 1980:

(   1 ) Are requirements for (a) employment and (b) permanency in terms of nationality and citizenship status consistent in Departments of the Australian Public Service.

(2)   If not, will he undertake to have the Public Service Act amended to specify minimum eligibility requirements in the matters of nationality and citizenship covering all Commonwealth employing bodies.

Mr MacKellar - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(   1 ) Under section 34 (a) of the Public Service Act a person is not eligible for appointment to the Australian Public Service as an officer unless he or she is a British subject. Temporary employees are not required to meet this nationality requirement. The provisions are consistent across all departments and those statutory authorities whose staff are employed under the Public Service Act. I would note that the nationality requirement in the non-Public Service Act area of Australian Government employment varies. Some statutory authorities have a British subject requirement, with or without a power of waiver vested in the Minister. Others, including the Postal and Telecommunications Commissions, do not have any nationality requirement.

(2)   The Government has under attention the possibility of amendment of section 34 (a) of the Public Service Act and options for change include no nationality requirement or an Australian citizenship requirement. The matter is a complex one, however, and the Government needs to weigh carefully matters such as the desirability of consistent arrangements across the whole arena of Commonwealth employment, equity for various groups in the community and the recruitment needs ofthe Australian Public Service.

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