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Thursday, 15 September 1983
Page: 892

Mr CHARLES —Will the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations inform the House whether he has made a decision on the State allocation of funds under the community youth support scheme for the 12-month grant period commencing November 1983? Is the Minister aware that, despite the increases of between 17 per cent and 21 per cent in levels of standard grant funding for CYSS projects announced on 26 May, some projects will still receive little or no increase in funding during 1983-84? Therefor, can the Minister assure the House that all CYSS projects will be guaranteed some minimum increase for the next 12-month grant period, with a view to ensuring that existing levels of CYSS services do not suffer at a time of high unemployment?

Mr WILLIS —The 27 per cent increase for the year 1983-84 to which the honourable member for Isaacs referred represents a rise of $4.5m in the amount available for the community youth support scheme. I have notified the State advisory committees of the allocation of that money to each State. The additional funds for each State have been determined on the basis of the relative distribution of youth unemployment. As the honourable member said, this Government has increased the standard grant to levels which give an increase of 17 per cent to 21 per cent, but as a number of other projects were previously above the standard grant levels they will get little increase or, in some cases, nothing at all.

That was a matter of concern to us. We felt that it would be totally inappropriate, at a time when we have much increased unemployment, to be giving a reduction in the real level of the CYSS service in some areas. Therefore, it has been decided that we will give a minimum 10 per cent increase in the level of payment to any project to ensure that these projects will be able at least to maintain the present level of service. The only exception to that will be where a project has been downgraded on the advice of the State advisory committees.

With a number of presumed upgradings of various projects and up to some 30-odd new projects, I believe that in this new financial year the CYSS project will be in much better shape. Funds available to all projects will be increased, in most cases very substantially in real terms. In some cases, where there are upgradings there will be very considerable increases and we will have a number of new projects. So the operation of this service to the young unemployed will be very considerably increased and will help to alleviate their very difficult circumstances.