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Tuesday, 8 November 1983
Page: 2444

Question No. 403


Mr Porter asked the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, upon notice, on 25 August 1983:

(1) How many Aborigines are registered as unemployed in each State.

(2) What is the Aboriginal unemployment rate within each identifiable Aboriginal community in each State.

(3) How many Aborigines have been employed in each State under the Community Employment Program.


Mr Holding —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) As at the end of June 1983 the following number of Aborigines were registered for employment with the Commonwealth Employment Service.

New South Wales 5,120 Victoria 752 Queensland 5,556 South Australia 1,301 Western Australia 3,521 Tasmania 185 Northern Territory 4,488 Australian Capital Territory 76

Total 20,999

(2) The CES does not maintain records on the Aboriginal unemployment rate within each Aboriginal community in each State.

The CES does maintain records of Aborigines who register with CES offices as unemployed. This broad information is provided in answer to question 1.

It is not possible for the CES to provide a breakdown by individual communities as not all unemployed Aborigines may wish to register with a CES office. However , the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations can provide data on the number of Aborigines registered as unemployed for each CES office area.

The most reliable information available on Aboriginal unemployment rates by individual communities is contained in the 1981 Census. A schedule of that information is attached.

(3) The community employment program is administered by the Department of Employment and Industrial Relations. Applications for grants to employ disadvantaged groups including Aborigines are considered by a consultative committee in each State and Territory. The committees comprise Commonwealth and State/Territory Government officials and representatives of local government, non-government organisations and interest groups. An NAC representative is a member of each committee.

The first approvals of projects submitted under the community employment program were given in the second week of October and referral action by the CES to place unemployed registrants commenced immediately. It is not possible to provide detailed information on the number of Aboriginals placed at this stage.

The community employment program is a new initiative which subsumes in part, the wages pause program introduced in December 1982. Under that program, the number of Aborigines employed in the various States were as follows.:

New South Wales 153 Victoria 8 Queensland 170 South Australia 1 Western Australia 14 Tasmania 3 Northern Territory 81 Australian Capital Territory 2

Total 432