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Victorian Government's challenge to Australian Government unemployment welfare schemes

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The Acting Prime Minister, Dr. J.F. Cairns, today deplored, the '

ciction taken by the Victorian Government to challenge in the

High Court the validity of Australian Government unemployment relief and welfare schemes. . . .

This is the worst example of playing politics at the expense, of

deprived people that we have seen, Dr. Cairns said. .

If the States had considered there' was anything wrong with the

Government’s schemes it was open for them at any time to make

constructive suggestions and these would have been immediately taken into account. . .

They did not avail themselves of that, simple opportunity.

The destructive action of the Victorian Government threatens the

Australian Government's entire welfare programme and hits directly

at the aged, the handicapped, the homeless and the unemployed.

Flow any Government could contemplate such a body-blow to this .

section of the community is beyond comprehension.

Programmes that are in jeopardy if the Victorian Government's move

succeeds include Government subsidies towards housing the elderly

and the handicapped, assistance to sheltered workshops and

handicapped children's training and accomodation centres, the .

vital meals-on-wheels service, and the Government's new programme .

to assist organisations which provide accomodation for home3.ess

people. ' ' · ·

Some of these programmes were in existence when we took office. The

political nature of the challenge is thus confirmed.

The Victorian move is also destructive because it can only delay

the application of re-employment measures which the Australian .

Government considers to be of prime importance. .

Despite the action of the. Victorian Government, the Australian

Government, will continue to administer the schemes fully and .

adequately. .

If the States are adamant about persisting with their obstructive

application .it is to be hoped that the High Court once and for all

will.uphold the right of the Australian Government to assist

directly anyone who may be unemployed·. . . .