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Thursday, 5 December 1974
Page: 3165

Senator MULVIHILL - My question is directed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Will he support the request I made of

Senator Bishoplast week to urge the Prime Minister to lean on the Chairman of the Public Service Board, Mr Cooley, whom I regard as a bureaucratic sponger, to ensure that extra staff-

Senator Sir Magnus Cormack - I rise on a point of order. I suggest that that is a gross reflection on an eminent public servant,' and this is no place for it to be made, except under formal motion.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT- There is no point of order involved.

Senator MULVIHILL -It is just like a bumper that one bowls to stir people up. 1 repeat the question. I said that I wanted the Chairman of the Public Service Board to be leaned on to ensure that extra staff is provided at the immigration offices in all capital cities so that Australians will get a much speedier service in the processing of their passport applications and so that people awaiting citizenship, which involves their permanency in employment, are also speedily dealt with. I say to Senator Murphy that if these things are not dealt with in that context it will mean that after 1 January, with the new visa control on Commonwealth citizens, the problem will be compounded. I repeat that what I have said has the backing of both the Immigration staff and many Australians who are complaining.

Senator MURPHY -The nub of what Senator Mulvihill is putting to me really is whether some provision can be made by way of extra staff to see that the requirements of people in these areas to which he referred are met. I think he is really intending to say that Mr Cooley is the man who can get action in this area, and Senator Mulvihill is hoping to stir matters up. If his question is intended to stir things up it no doubt will do so. Everyone would hope that the problems in these areas can be attended to. I am sure that Mr Cooley, whom Senator Mulvihill really regards as quite a fine public servant, will try to do whatever he can in this area.

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