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Tuesday, 19 August 1980
Page: 430

Dr Cass asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce, upon notice, on 29 April 1 980:

(1)   How many persons born overseas (indicating country of birth) are employed by his Department.

(2)   How many of these persons are employed on a (a) temporary and (b) permanent basis and in what classifications are they employed.

(3)   How many bi-lingual and multi-lingual staff members are employed by his Department in counter situations and/or in close contact with members of the public.

(4)   Does his Department have translating facilities; if so, (a) what languages are involved and (b) how many persons are working in the area and what are their classifications.

(5)   If his Department does not have interpreting and translating facilities, what arrangements are made for performing these tasks.

Mr Lynch - The following answer is provided to the honourable member's question:

(1   ) and (2) Consolidated statistics on employees' countries of birth are not maintained by my Department and I am not prepared to authorise the use of the extensive resources which would be involved in manually extracting the information required.

(3)   None - The staff of my Department, because of the nature of its functions, do not have across-the-counter or other close contact with the general public.

(4)   and (5) My Department does not have staff engaged full-time on translating duties. However, a register is maintained of officers who are able and prepared to perform less complex translating/interpreting duties and these officers are called upon as the need arises. In this way seventeen different languages are covered.

When more complex translating/interpreting requirements arise, the services of the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs are employed.

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