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Wednesday, 29 September 1971
Page: 1620

Mr WHITLAM - I address a question to the Prime Minister. The Public Service Board's annual report which he tabled in the last week we sat pointed out that nearly 10,000 central office staff were still located in Melbourne awaiting transfer to Canberra. Has the Board ever examined or is it authorised to examine the cost and convenience of transferring some of the remaining departments, such as the Department of Works, the Postmaster-General's Department and the Bureau of Meteorology, to a mid point such as Albury - Wodonga, just as the British Department of Social Services has its headquarters not in London but in Newcastle-on-Tyne? Is the Public Service Board represented on the CommonwealthState Officials' Committee on Decentralisation established 7 years ago?

Mr McMAHON - The answer to the last part of the honourable gentleman's question is no, but I believe that we will soon be receiving a report from the authorities concerned in regard to decentralisation and I will then ensure that it is quickly considered by the Government. I have not received it yet. As to the first part of the honourable gentleman's question, the answer is no, but I will make inquiries from the Chairman of the Public Service Board to find out whether he thinks it is desirable to have the kind of analysis made.

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