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Thursday, 8 September 1983
Page: 575

Annual Reports

Mr SPEAKER —I present the reports on the operations of the Department of the Parliamentary Reporting Staff, Department of the Praliamentary Library and the Joint House Department pursuant to section 9B (2) of the Public Service Act 1922 as created by section 6 of the Public Service Acts Amendment Act 1982.

The Department of the Parliamentary Reporting Staff has provided a reliable service throughout the year, not only to the two Houses of the Parliament but also to parliamentary committees. The Department continues to be involved in studies being undertaken for the establishment of an information storage and retrieval system for the Parliament. Computer technology and its application to parliamentary reporting are under close study by the Department with the prospect of improved service to members of parliament in the near future.

The report of the Department of the Parliamentary Library is in two parts. The first section reports on activities in 1982 and completes a series of calendar year annual reports which commenced in 1978. The second section reports on the period January to June 1983 and contains a number of statistical tables expressed in financial year periods which will be the form used in future years. Demand for research and information services from senators and members continued at a high level during the period covered by the report. Planning for the new Parliament House and the introduction of new technology is being actively pursued and is likely to lead to a period of change for the Library which will be reflected in the years ahead.

Honourable members appreciate the personal services of many staff members around the House. I should like to take this opportunity to draw the attention of honourable members to the retirement of Mrs Bobbie Sluyters in June of this year on medical grounds. Mrs Sluyters has worked in the Parliamentary Library for nearly 20 years and has gained wide respect from senators and members. Her name is particularly associated with the Current Information Service and her energy and helpfulness to senators and members deserves to be noted. I know that honourable members would wish me to express on their behalf our best wishes to Mrs Sluyters for a recovery in her health and a happy retirement.

I am also pleased to table the first annual report prepared on the operations of the Joint House Department for the year 1982-83. The diverse functions of the Department are not generally known or acknowledged and the detailed nature of the report should assist in better understanding of its role. The Joint House Department is involved, to a significant extent, in the planning and development of services and facilities for the new Parliament House and references to those responsibilities occur throughout the report. I commend these reports to the House.