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Tuesday, 19 May 1942


Mr BLACKBURN (Bourke) .- I. support the request of the honorable member for Flinders (Mr. Ryan). The bill does not make clear what is to happen to a woman who has been drawing the pension under paragraph a, and whose child has passed the age of sixteen years or has died under that age. Clause 21, which is the disqualifying clause, sets out certain events upon which a widow's right to the pension should be devested, but it makes no reference to the case where the child whom she is maintaining has reached the age of sixteen years or has died younger. It provides, inter alia, that the pension shall not be payable for any period after the pensioner ceases to be resident in Australia, marries or remarries, or, being a deserted wife, ceases to be a deserted wife otherwise than by the death of her husband. No provision is made for the woman who, having been entitled to a pension under paragraph a of clause 13, and whose child has passed the age of sixteen years, or has died before attaining that age, is deprived of the pension. Under clause 25 an allowance of 25s. a week for a period not longer than 26 weeks is provided for, but I suggest that the pension of the widowed mother should continue after the child's death, or after the child has reached the age of sixteen years, either at the discretion of the Commissioner or definitely if the mother has passed a certain age. In my view, the pension shouldbe continued automatically to a mother who has passed the age of 45 years, even though her child has died or reached the age of sixteen years.







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