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Tuesday, 19 August 1980
Page: 430

Dr Cass asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice, on 29 April 1980:

(   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.

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

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

(   1 ) and (2) Collective Statistics on employees' countries of birth are not maintained and I am not prepared to authorise the use of extensive resources which would be involved in manually extracting the information required from appointment records.

(3)   There are no bi-lingual or multi-lingual staff members employed by my Department in counter situations or in close contact with members of the public.

(4)   and (5) My Department does not have staff engaged full-time on translating duties. Those who are fluent in a foreign language translate less complex texts. When more complex interpreting and translating services are required, the services of the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs are utilised.

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