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Thursday, 27 November 1986
Page: 2853


Senator GRIMES (Minister for Community Services)(11.39) —In response to Senator Macklin's question about the Wiluna figures, as Senator Macklin has pointed out, the program is very successful and is a means of replacing the payment of individual unemployment benefits to members of a community. The figures on which the Department of Aboriginal Affairs works are provided by the Department of Social Security. The figures at Wiluna change from week to week, depending on the eligibility of people moving in and out. They are adjusted quarterly in the payment of funds. The last figures that I have for Wiluna-there is no date on them-show that there were 72 married couples and eight single people with dependants. A number of dependants brings the total to 403. The payment is made on the basis of the number of adults plus a payment for dependants, as is the case with unemployment benefit. I assume that in that area the field officers and Aboriginal liaison officers do the work; they certainly did it when I was Minister for Social Security. They are the figures the Department uses--


Senator Macklin —The Department of Social Security?


Senator GRIMES —No, they are the figures the Department of Aboriginal Affairs uses in administering the scheme. Its source is the Department of Social Security. Obviously, those figures would differ from census figures. That probably explains the problem faced by Senator Macklin.