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Tuesday, 16 November 1976

Mr Keith Johnson (BURKE, VICTORIA) - It is regrettable that at a time of economic recession we have to listen to such speeches as that made by the honourable member for Denison (Mr Hodgman). In his comments about the community youth support scheme he neglected to tell the House that the whole concept of that scheme has been rejected by all the youth organisations throughout Australia. He neglected to tell the House that the whole thing was just a window dressing scheme by the present Government because it has no thoughts of its own to solve the problem of the highest unemployment rate in this country for the past 40 years. He forgot to tell us that this is being presided over by a government which when in Opposition sought government by somewhat shonky means in 1975 and which told the people that the then Labor Government presided over the highest unemployment for 40 years. I have news for those who now sit on the Government side. They have eclipsed the record they thought the Austraiian Labor Party held. They now preside over the highest rate of unemployment of any government in this country in the past 40 years, yet they seem to take some pride in the matter and laugh about it.

I remind them that this is November and that at the end of this month and early next month 100 000 young Australians will be coming on to the employment market. There are already more than 300 000 Australians without jobs and this number will be added to by those who leave school this year. The Government has done nothing about this problem except to provide a window dressing exercise which the honourable member for Denison exposed tonight- the sort of window dressing exercise which has been rejected by all youth councils throughout this country and by those who are concerned for the employment of young people, rejected as being without foundation. I invite the honourable member to read the proposition put forward by the Minister for unemployment -

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member will not misuse the Minister's title. If he is referring to the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations he should say so. It being 1 1 p.m., the debate is concluded. The House stands adjourned until 2. 1 5 p.m. tomorrow.

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