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Friday, 15 June 1984
Page: 3137

Senator RICHARDSON —I direct my question to Senator Grimes, the Minister representing the Minister for Industry and Commerce. Last year the New South Wales Government came under fire for failing to spend its 1982-83 allocation for job creation programs under the wage pause program. Has the New South Wales Government now spent or committed all of its allocated Federal funds? Further, have the administrative problems that caused the cessation of funding under the Special Employment-related Programs Act in July last year been overcome?

Senator GRIMES —The New South Wales Government has committed all its allocated funds under the wage pause program. As of 5 June this year, New South Wales has spent $62m of the $69.9m allocated to the State under the program. In answer to the second part of the question I can say yes, the administrative difficulties which did hold up some functions last year have been overcome. At the moment there is no problem. There is no difficulty in New South Wales in expending this money which, of course, will assist the unemployment situation considerably.