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Wednesday, 29 June 1994
Page: 2268

Senator CROWLEY (Minister for Family Services) (12.17 p.m.) —Senator Lees knows that that question is outside the purview of this legislation. Also, it presumes that a significant number of people will be thrust into needing emergency relief. The senator's question contains large presumptions that I do not think we should be making.

  On the evidence given to the committee the other day, I take the view that although some people have breached the orders, those numbers are small. As can be seen from the sympathetic response given on this matter by the Minister for Social Security, this legislation does not seek to create undue hardship for genuine people, but seeks seriously to say to people that the government is committed to helping people get into employment and to back them up.

  Certainly the government is not intending to create hardship provisions. We hope that, as part of the compact with government, people will participate and that it will be a minimum number. On the evidence available we believe there will be a minimum number of people in breach. The government has emergency relief payments available if people who are in breach of the legislation find themselves in need. Certainly the government does not agree with the presumption that there will be a significant number of people in this category.