Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 21 May 1936

Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister for External Affairs) [5.14]. - I move -

That the bill be now read a second time.

The object of the bill is to provide a further measure of financial assistance to the States for the purpose of relieving unemployment by means of the development of forestry and the metalliferous mining industry. Under the Loan Appropriation (Unemployment Relief) Act 1934-1935 an amount of £322,000 was provided for the purpose of assisting forestry, and £283,750 for assisting the metalliferous mining industry in the States. The grant for forestry was made on a £1 for £1 basis, except in South Australia and Tasmania, and it was agreed also that not less than 20 per cent. of the money would be used for the purpose of providing employment for youths. This condition is being observed, although difficulty is being experienced in several States in finding sufficient youths for the work. Upwards of 5,000 men have found reproductive employment in the improvement of State forests generally, including regeneration, thinning and restocking, and the provision of firebreaks and access roads, as well as the eradication of noxious weeds.

The grants provided by this bill are based upon the amounts originally made available following a conference held in December, 1934, when schemes were submitted by State forestry departments, and a programme was drawn up. The whole of the provision of £283,750 for mining was made available to the States as a grant, subject to the condition that if any portion was used for advances a similar amount would be provided by the States for that purpose. There is evidence that some 6,000 additional men have been placed in employment, whilst the production of gold has increased considerably, notwithstanding industrial disputes in two important centres of production. I venture to say that no other expenditure to relieve unemployment has produced such good results.

In respect of mining two conferences were held. At the first of these, held in December, 1934, the requirements of the States were examined and a schedule of requirements was compiled. That schedule formed the basis of assistance under the original act. At a further conference which was held in October, 1935, to review the results, the need for continuing the scheme for a further period was enunciated, and programmes were altered to cover the years 1936 and 1937. In determining the apportionment of the money to be provided under this bill for assistance to metalliferous mining, the Commonwealth was guided by the requirements set out in the amended programme, and not by the amounts originally made available. The present measure is designed to continue the assistance for forestry and mining on a diminishing scale for a further period of two years. The amounts allocated to the States are -

The funds made available are supplementary to amounts normally provided by the States for mining and forestry. The total amount of assistance for the relief of unemployment by these measures to be rendered up to the 30th June, 1938, will be: mining, £493,750; forestry, £563,500; total, £1,057,250.

Senator McLeay - Why has no allocation been made to South Australia for mining in 1937-38?

Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE - These were the amounts agreed upon at the conferences to which I have referred. I feel sure that honorable senators will recognize the usefulness of this method of increasing employment. :

Senator Uppill - Were these amounts agreed upon at conferences between the Commonwealth and State Governments ?


Suggest corrections