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Thursday, 9 December 1976

Mr STREET (CORANGAMITE, VICTORIA) (Minister Assisting the Prime Minister in Public Service Matters) - The honourable member was very active and persistent in defending his electorate earlier this year following the phasing down of the gold mining industry. I understand that the Kalgoorlie Town Council last week held a meeting to discuss the unemployment problem in Kalgoorlie. As a result of that meeting the Town Council declared that there was no employment problem in the eastern goldfields area. The local manager of the Commonwealth Employment Service office has indicated that there is a shortage of skilled labour, especially in the metal trades. I believe that the Town Council has made an additional statement that it believes the devaluation of the Australian dollar will further boost employment opportunities in that region. I am further informed that the local secretary of the Australian Workers Union is quoted as having said:

If I could get 100 skilled miners I would be able to place them in employment immediately.

Also, I understand that at this meeting that was called by the Kalgoorlie Town Council a local accountant said that there was a severe shortage of suitable qualified staff for commerce and business and that many employers had experienced difficulty in employing qualified office staff. So I am pleased to be able to report that, thanks in no small measure to the efforts of the honourable member for Kalgoorlie, the employment situation in Kalgoorlie has improved markedly.

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