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Thursday, 5 December 1974
Page: 4764

Mr Keating asked the Prime Minister, upon notice:

Is he able to estimate the number of people likely to be directly disadvantaged by a refusal of supply by the Senate leaving the Government unable to meet its obligations.

Mr Whitlam - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

It is not possible to estimate with any degree of precision the number of people who would be directly disadvantaged by a refusal of supply by the Senate, but I can say that such refusal would have far reaching and seriously adverse consequences either directly or indirectly for many people and organisations throughout the nation including workers, local councils and States, aboriginals, students.

Some indication of the large number of persons who would be affected can be gauged from the wide range of Government activities which are funded by the Appropriation Acts. These Acts normally provide for payments to State governments and statutory authorities; to Australian Government wage and salary earners; to people and firms with Australian Government contracts; to students and scholarship holders, together with grants to schools, colleges and universities; for postal services; air, sea and surface transport services; overseas aid programs; for aboriginal aid projects; and for many other payments including those to workers in receipt of compensation, for legal aid, and for hospital and municipal services in the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.

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