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Thursday, 3 February 1994
Page: 321

Mr SLIPPER (1.43 p.m.) —I think the people of Australia have a very great grievance with the ongoing problem of unemployment in this nation. We have more than one million people out of work and up to two million people unable to find adequate work. The Labor Party has now been in office for a period of some 11 years and yet we find that ministers come into this place without any real solution. We find that our young people leave school without any real prospect of obtaining a job. The people of Australia have a great grievance regarding this ongoing national scandal. One only has to go to the electorate of Fisher and the Sunshine Coast of Queensland to see that youth unemployment is a major problem. These young people, who are products of our education system, are concerned because getting a job remains almost a total impossibility for them. They are asking us in the national parliament of this country for some answers.

  The Labor Party has been elected the government of Australia on no fewer than five occasions. Ministers and honourable members opposite come into this House and yet we find that the continuing national tragedy of unemployment, particularly youth unemployment, goes on and on and on. Quite frankly, the people of Australia have had enough. The unemployed people of Australia are sick and tired of being used by the government as political footballs; they demand solutions, they demand opportunities. It is simply not reasonable, and it is not Australian, for the government to continue having a society where people are permanently unemployed with absolutely no prospect of employment. In fact, we have families in which unemployment has become institutionalised, with two and three generations unable to obtain a job.

Mr SPEAKER —Order! It being 1.45 p.m., in accordance with standing order 106, the debate is interrupted and I put the question:

  That grievances be noted.

  Question resolved in the affirmative.