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Wednesday, 31 August 1994
Page: 745

(Question No. 1571)

Senator Woodley asked the Minister representing the Minister for Social Security, upon notice, on 20 July 1994:

  (1) In view of the article in the Sydney Morning Herald on 17 May 1994 entitled `Co-ops to help needy', where the Minister is quoted as proposing a scheme which would enable welfare recipients to halve their grocery bills through a co-operative buying scheme, is this scheme the same as that proposed by Food-Share Australia; if not, in what ways does it differ.

  (2)(a) How far advanced are the Minister's plans with the proposed scheme, and when is it expected to begin operating; and (b) is it planned for Food-Share Australia to be involved in the operation of the scheme.

  (3) What funding or support, if any, is the Federal Government providing to help establish Food-Share in Australia.

Senator Crowley —The Minister for Social Security has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  (1) The Department of Social Security is proposing to establish a number of pilot research projects to test ways of assisting Social Security recipients obtain increased value from their incomes and other resources.

  These pilot projects are expected to involve funding of a number of small, community-based organisations to trial different services and approaches over a 12-18 month period.

  Food co-operatives represent one illustration of the possibilities in this area. Organisations such as Food-Share Australia will be able to apply for funding.

  (2)(a) Pilot projects are expected to commence late in 1994.

  (b) See answer to Part (1).

  (3) No funding or support is being provided through the Social Security portfolio to Food-Share Australia.