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Wednesday, 29 June 1994
Page: 2268


Senator LEES (Deputy Leader of the Australian Democrats) (12.18 p.m.) —I am aware of the time so I will not take this matter very much further. Discussion could go on for hours.

  I would argue that the Minister for Family Services (Senator Crowley) is making a very large presumption that there are jobs out there. From my experience recently involving somebody who has been looking very intently for a job, there are not just one or two people applying for each job vacancy; in many cases hundreds of people apply for the same position. Perhaps the minister would like to talk to some of the people in Adelaide who have recently advertised for young people. In reply to those advertisements queues of well over a hundred applicants are not uncommon.

  Also, we should look at the minister's claim that very few people will actually be caught out by this legislation. Can we have an undertaking from the government that if, in 12 months time, charities around the country tell us that large numbers of people are being trapped—and by `large' I mean even just a handful in each city; I think even one person trapped unnecessarily is sufficient for us to be concerned about—and we do find evidence of people falling through the system and that, indeed, the charities are under further pressure, it will look again at these amendments.

  Question put:

  That the amendment (Senator Woodley's) be agreed to.