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Tuesday, 19 August 1980
Page: 431

Dr Cass asked the Minister representing the Minister for National Development and Energy, upon notice, on 29 April 1980:

(1)   How many persons born overseas (indicating country of birth) are employed by the Department of National Development and Energy;

(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 the Department in counter situations and/or close contact with members of the public;

(4)   Does the 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 the Department does not have interpreting and translating facilities, what arrangements are made for performing these tasks.

Mr Anthony -The Minister for National Development and Energy has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(   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), (4) and (5) There are no bi-lingual or multi-lingual staff of my Department who are specifically engaged in across-the-counter or other close contact situations with the general public nor does the Department have staff engaged full-time on translating duties. However, informal arrangements exist where those staff who are known to be fluent in a foreign language may be called upon to assist with counter enquiries or translate less complex texts. Where more complex interpreting and translating requirements arise, the services of the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs are utilised.

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