2.1.5 Free translating and interpreting services
This component supports access to free translating and interpreting services for eligible clients.
Free interpreting services are provided to approved individuals and organisations to help them communicate with non-English speaking migrants and humanitarian entrants who are Australian citizens or permanent residents. The services are broadly available to:
- private medical practitioners providing services under Medicare
- non-profit, non-government, community-based health and welfare organisations (subject to their funding arrangements)
- members of parliament for constituency purposes
- local government authorities
- trade unions
- Emergency Management Australia.
Documents eligible for free translation include settlement-related personal documents, identity and relationship documents (for example, birth and marriage certificates), facilitation documents (for example, drivers licences), and education and employment documents.
Free translations are provided to permanent residents and some temporary visa holders within their first two years of arrival or grant of permanent residence.
Returning Australian citizens may also be eligible for a free translation service within two years of returning to Australia to settle permanently.
The number of free translation and interpreting services provided in 2007–08 was slightly higher than that provided in 2006–07.
A total of 131 083 interpreting services were provided, compared to 125 528 in 2006–07. Of these services, 114 593 were telephone interpreting services and 16 490 were on-site interpreting services. The number of documents translated was 7855, compared to 7184 in 2006–07 (see also Output 2.2.1).
In June 2007, a pilot project to extend access to free telephone interpreting services for pharmacists was initiated in cooperation with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia. A total of 331 pharmacies were provided with unlimited access to telephone interpreting services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The department is evaluating the outcomes of this pilot with a view to establishing the service permanently.
The department has also begun preparations for a pilot extension of free interpreting services to real estate agents in recognition of the difficulties many humanitarian entrants face in accessing the private rental market.Table 72: Translating and interpreting services—performance information
|Payment to TIS for estimated number of fee-free services administered efficiently||Payment efficiently administered|