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Thursday, 1 December 1938

Mr CLARK (Darling) .- During the last few weeks, I have received a considerable number of letters from various small country centres asking that the Government be requested to make available a grant for relief work in those centres if only for a short period. A representative of the unemployed at Coolabah, wrote to me and pointed out that, because of its isolation, no unemployment relief work had been carried out in that district for six years. He said that, having regard to its size, there is an unusual number of unemployed in that district. These unfortunate people have little hope of being able to attract Santa Claus to their homes during the festive season unless some relief work is put in hand. At Byrock, another isolated centre in western New South Wales, there is also acute unemployment. When an opportunity was afforded last week, I stressed the difficulties of country people owing to seasonal unemployment. Although a certain amount of work is available at certain seasons of the year, there are times when there is almost complete stagnation. I make this plea for special consideration of the needs of these unfortunate people. I suggest that the Government might very well make available to municipal and, particularly, shire councils, a small sum of money to finance relief works in isolated country centres.

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