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Clients to benefit from changes to translating and interpreting service

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M e d i a R e l e a s e

The Hon. Philip Ruddock MR Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs Telephone: (02) 6277 7860 Facsimile: (02) 6273 4144

MPS 4/98


The Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Mr Philip Ruddock, said today clients of the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) would benefit from new arrangements to be in place by July 1.

Mr Ruddock said that under the new arrangements, which follow a review of the service, TIS customers will have improved access to the nationwide base of contract interpreters and translators.

"This national base will comprise the best qualified interpreters and translators offering advantages not available under the more narrowly based systems that have operated until now in each state,” the Minister said. ,

“Customers of the telephone interpreting service will receive a more professional and responsive service that uses the latest telecommunications technology to provide fast and efficient translations.”

Mr Ruddock said while this upgrade of services involved the consolidation of TIS operations in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth and the closure of Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart, Canberra (regional) and Darwin Offices, customers should notice a discernible improvement in the level of service.

“New technology means that people where-ever they live in Australia will now have access to the same level of telephone service,” Mr Ruddock said.

“Clients should be aware that TIS will continue to offer face to face interpreting in all States and Territories and that they can continue to deposit documents for translation with their local DIMA office.”

Other changes involve using a bank of contractor translators, instead of in-house translators, which offers increased flexibility and greater access to a wider range of languages. These contractors will undertake all TIS translating work and some of the

after-hours telephone interpreting work.

The Minister said that wherever possible, TIS permanent staff in the offices to be closed, will be redeployed in the Department’s office in the same city. He said there may also be opportunity for job swaps and mobility. Where necessary, retraining will be provided to these staff.

13 January 1998

Media Contact: Steve Ingram 02 6277 7860 0419 278 715