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Thursday, 11 November 1976
Page: 2594

Mr E G Whitlam (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I direct a question to the Prime Minister. Has the Government received the interim report of the Bailey task force on co-ordination in welfare and health which was due at the end of last month? Will he table the report in the Parliament so that State governments, local government bodies and the many organisations engaged in federally funded health and welfare programs are given the opportunity to examine its recommendations prior to any action the Government takes upon it and, in case the recommendations in the report do not command universal support, make representations upon them?

Mr MALCOLM FRASER -I thank the honourable gentleman for that question. I have not yet received a copy of the report. As the honourable gentleman would know, it covers a very large area. I am not saying that the draft report is not available; I am saying that I have not received it. It is not over my desk. Clearly, there will be matters of very great importance to be considered in relation to it. I am advised that in some of the aspects of the report, the inquiry has been influenced by the report of the Henderson inquiry into poverty. I think that it will be a very valuable document. It will certainly deserve the most serious consideration not only by the Commonwealth Government but also by this Parliament and by other people involved in the delivery of welfare services. We will not be intending to rush decisions as a result of the report. I hope that the honourable gentleman will understand me when I say that I would not want to pre-empt decisions about the precise handling of it until I have the report and have seen it.

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