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Tuesday, 13 September 1983
Page: 722

Question No. 245

Mr Lloyd asked the Minister for Communications, upon notice, on 26 May 1983:

(1) When were the staff ceilings lifted for Telecom Australia and Australia Post.

(2) What changes have taken place in the total employment level of each of these authorities since the ceilings were lifted and in which sections have these changes occurred.

(3) Is any recruitment being undertaken at the present time; if so, in which sections.

Mr Duffy —The answer to the honourable member's question, based on advice from the Australian Postal Commission and the Australian Telecommunications Commission, is as follows:

(1) The Australian Postal Commission and the Australian Telecommunications Commission are responsible for their own staffing levels. In 1981, however, following the former Government's Review of Commonwealth Functions, external staff ceilings were imposed on the Commissions for the year ending June 1982. The ceilings were lifted on 22 June 1982.

(2) In the Australian Telecommunications Commission, from June 1982 to June 1983, total operative manpower has increased by 494. The increases have occurred mainly in trainee groups, and technical operations staff. As a result of pressures to improve productivity some reductions were made in areas of administration and support functions. Reductions also occurred in telephonist staffing as a result of customers dialling their own calls and the converson of manual exchanges to automatic working.

Over the same period the full time staffing level for the Australian Postal Commission rose by 124. Changes in staffing levels have occurred in nearly all occupational categories, with the most significant variations being in the categories of Mail Officer, Post Clerk, Assistant Postal Officer and Postman/ woman.

(3) The Australian Telecommunication Commission is recruiting in most areas. There have been significant increases in the level of recruitment to the technical and trainee groups.

In the Australian Postal Commission staff are being recruited for most occupational categories, with major emphasis being placed on recruiting Postmen/ women, Postal Officers and Mail Officers.