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Tuesday, 19 August 1980
Page: 436

Dr Cass asked the Minister for Science and the Environment, 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.

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

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

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

(3)   Approximately 50. All of these staff are employed within the Bureau of Meteorology which has limited direct public contact at its Head Office (Melbourne), Regional Offices (State Capitals) and various aerodrome field offices throughout the Australian states. Other areas of the Department do not have across the counter or other close contact with the general public.

(4)   and (3) My Department does not have staff engaged full-time on translating duties but those who are fluent in a foreign language translate less complex texts. A number of foreign languages are covered in this way. When more complex interpreting and translating requirements arise, the services of the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs are utilised.

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