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Thursday, 18 October 1984
Page: 2021

Senator BOSWELL(9.23) —I express sympathy for the Minister for Social Security, Senator Grimes, who is clearly out of his depth. He has had to carry the can for the Minister for Resources and Energy, Senator Walsh, who conveniently is away at the moment.

Senator Macklin —He is doing a good job; he is trying.

Senator BOSWELL —He is doing a shocking job. I am sorry for him; he is completely out of his depth. The Minister has indicated that the Meat Export Charge Bill will recover $28m. I ask whether the Government has considered the jobs that will be lost in the industry when it is no longer competitive. That is what the Government should have costed, not just the $28m that it will recover. I wonder whether the Department of Primary Industry can give the Minister some indication of how many people will be put into the dole queues.

The number of meat inspectors surplus to needs is around 200, and it is only the tip of the iceberg. The management of any meatworks will testify that many meat inspectors are pushed into meatworks where they are not required just to get them off the surplus list. Even the small meatworks managements say: 'We don 't need all these meat inspectors-they are falling over the top of each other. They've got to put them somewhere, so they're inflicting them on us'. I hope the Minister for Social Security does not find this amusing. Many people out in the community will be worried about their jobs tomorrow if this Bill goes through. I ask the Minister to seek advice from his Department as to how many jobs will be lost if this Bill goes through tonight.