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Wednesday, 11 December 1974
Page: 3360

Senator DAVIDSON (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Labor and Immigration. I ask: Can the Minister indicate whether there were any special reasons for the appointment of Dr Peter Wilenski as the head of the department which includes in its responsibility the important area of immigration? Has Dr Wilenski, who I understand is a migrant, had any experience in the administration of immigration affairs in the source countries? Was consideration given to officers of the former Department of Immigration who have had extensive experience in immigration affairs both within Australia and overseas? Will the Department ensure that those officers are not disadvantaged by the new appointment and that the new head of the Department will have the benefit of their experience at senior appointment level?

Senator BISHOP (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Postmaster-General) - The position is that the Minister for Labor and Immigration recommended to Cabinet the appointment of Dr Wilenski to the newly arranged department, which, as Senator Davidson well knows, is not now just the Department of Labor or the Department of Labour and National Service, as it used to be, but the Department of Labor and Immigration. Mr Cameron reported his recommendations to Cabinet. He considered that Dr Wilenski, with all his qualifications, was the most suitable officer for that appointment in view of the new scope of the Department. With respect to the other questions which Senator Davidson has raised about the position of officers of the former Department of Immigration or the Department of Labor, I will try to obtain answers for the honourable senator as soon as I can.

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