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Wednesday, 21 November 1973
Page: 2027

Senator Rae asked the Minister representing the Minister for Education, upon notice:

(   1 ) Is it a fact that the Royal Australian Chemical Institute has reported that well over half of all new Ph.D's in Chemistry have gone overseas upon completion of their degrees.

(2)   What percentage of Ph.D's in Chemistry return to Australia after working overseas.

(3)   Is there a shortage of suitable employment for Ph.D's in Chemistry and other sciences in Australia; if so, what is the reason for this and are any steps being taken either to increase the employment opportunities or to decrease the number of persons studying for such degrees.

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1)   Yes. The Institute reported that during the period 1965-1969 over 70 per cent of new Australian Chemistry Ph.D's went immediately overseas; in 1970 and 1971, however, this percentage was reported to have fallen to a little over 40 per cent.

(2)   This information is not available.. (3) According to the Depanment of Labour there is a shortage of employment in research for Ph.D's in Chemistry and certain other sciences in

Australia. Australian industry engages in research and development programs to a limited extent and in comparison with overseas the employment opportunities for Ph.D's in this area are relatively few. In addition there is a view amongst some employers that Ph.D's are too narrowly specialised to fit into industry other than in research and development positions. However, opportunities in industry for Ph.D's have been increasing and with changes in attitude on the part of both employers and graduates, should continue to increase.

In recent years there has been a levelling in the assistance offered by the Australian Government to students wishing to undertake Ph.D's. A lowering of first enrolments for Ph.D degrees in 1 97 1 , even though there was an increase again in 1 972, may also be indicative of uncertainty amongst students about the employment expectations associated with the degree. In order to ensure that jobs are available to persons who are completing courses of study, the Government is pursuing a policy of providing comprehensive and up to date career information and career guidance so that students are more fully aware of employment prospects. The Department of Labour is working actively towards the provision of such services.

ABC News Service: Senator Georges' Speech (Question No. 482)

Senator Greenwood asked the Minister for the Media, upon notice:

(1)   Will the Minister seek from the Commissioners of the Australian Broadcasting Commission the reason why the ABC news on 10 October 1973 omitted to make mention of the dramatic and highly newsworthy events disclosed by Senator Georges on the previous evening.

(2)   Will he ascertain specifically whether it was due to the Australian Broadcasting Commission staff being off-duty or not interested in the Senate, or simply because there was a selectivity in the reporting.

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

An ABC reporter was in the Senate Press Galley when Senator Georges spoke in the adjournment debate on the evening of 9 October and he sent a report of the speech to the ABC's Sydney News Office. As there was a heavy flow of overseas and Australian news on the morning of 10 October including reports on the Middle East War plus the train, airport and power disputes, the Sub-editor on duty decided not to include the item in the morning bulletin. However, reports on Senator Georges' remarks were included in the ABC national radio news bulletin at 11 p.m. on 10 October and again in the national radio news bulletins at 6.45 a.m. 7.15 a.m., and 7.45 a.m. on 1 1 October.

In addition, Senator Georges was interviewed about this matter on ABC television in 'This Day Tonight' on 1 1 October together with the former Minister for the Environment, Aborigines and the Arts, the Honourable P. Howson.

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