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Wednesday, 5 December 1973
Page: 4360

Mr Bourchier asked the Minister repre senting the Attorney-General, upon notice:

(1)   Has the Attorney-General's attention been drawn to reports that members of the Commonwealth Police Force stationed in Bendigo may be forced to transfer to other places as a result of recent Budget cuts in Defence expenditure and the possible effect on the Ordnance Factory in Bendigo.

(2)   Is it a fact that the 8 families long established in Bendigo who would be affected by any transfer are gravely concerned at this prospect.

(3)   Will the Attorney-General give an assurance that these families will not be retrenched or transferred from Bendigo.

Mr Enderby - The Attorney-General has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1)   The future role of the Commonwealth Police Force in the guarding of certain Department of Supply establishments, including the Ordnance Factory, Bendigo, has been under consideration for some time. No decision on the withdrawal of Commonwealth Police cover from these establishments has yet been taken. The consideration being given to the matter does not stem from the Budget.

(2)   Eight families of the Commonwealth Police members could be affected by the withdrawal of Commonwealth Police cover from the Ordnance Factory, Bendigo. Seven of these families reside in the BendigoLonglea area and one member maintains his home at Little River (near Geelong). It is a condition of employment in the Commonwealth Police Force that, although appointment, promotion or transfer may be to a specified locality, members may be required to transfer to any part of the Commonwealth. All members are informed of this requirement prior to appointment to the Force. However, before any transfers are made, consideration is given to the position of each member including his family.

(3)   Should it be decided to withdraw Commonwealth Police cover from the Ordnance Factory, Bendigo, no member would be retrenched. The members concerned would be transferred to other localities depending on vacancies that exist at the time. Such transfer would be at Commonwealth expense and the members would be entitled to a living allowance at the new locality until such time as they are able to obtain suitable accommodation.

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