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Wednesday, 10 December 1986
Page: 3700

Senator REID —My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Community Services. I preface my question by reminding the Minister that the Salvation Army has expressed opposition to the Government's direction that wherever possible emergency aid be paid in cash and not by way of food voucher and the further direction that, if it is paid by way of food voucher, no endorsement may be made preventing the value of it being used to buy alcohol, cigarettes, pet food or videos. Has any other organisation expressed similar concerns? What social policy purpose does the Government believe it is meeting by forbidding organisations to limit emergency food vouchers to the issue of food for families in need of food?

Senator BUTTON —Mr President, one would have to be an intellectual to handle that sort of question. No ordinary man could be such a fool as to attempt to answer that because it contains a number of suppositions as well as seeking factual information. I will ask the Department of Community Services for an answer on the factual matters as quickly as possible and provide it to Senator Reid. Even if we cannot provide it in a future Question Time, I will get the information.