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Wednesday, 10 October 1984
Page: 1542

Senator COATES —My question is directed to the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on the Status of Women. In view of the lack of concern by the Tasmanian Liberal Government for providing support services for women in Tasmania, will the Minister say what consideration she has given to continuation of Federal Government support for a women's information service in Hobart?

Senator RYAN —It is very disappointing that the Tasmanian Government has failed to provide an information service for women in that State. That failure certainly leaves a significant gap in services available for Tasmanian women. In every other State and Territory now satisfactory long term arrangements have been made to develop support services for women, including the Women's Information Service in Queensland which was opened by our Government in April. The Women's Information Service in Tasmania was a Commonwealth employment project and, as such, a temporary job creation measure which nevertheless pointed to an ongoing need for an information service for women in Tasmania. I have requested the Office of the Status of Women to discuss with responsible departments the existing provisions for various aspects of women's services and to report to me on what action is required in this area. Proposals which address the needs of women in Tasmania for support services should form part of this report. When I have that report it may be possible for us to take action to establish a permanent service.