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Tuesday, 25 November 1941

Mr BLACKBURN (Bourke) .- It is proposed in this bill to amend section +5ak of the principal act which relates to soldiers who are, in the opinion of the commission or a board, permanently unemployable. Those words may be taken to correspond to the words " totally and permanently incapacitated " in the Oldage Pensions Act. We recently prescribed :i standard of incapacity in connexion with that act, and I believe that the Repatriation Commission should at least have regard to that standard. There have been cases of men who were unemployable in the sense that no one could be expected to give them a job, and such persons are, 1 think, entitled to a pension, even though there might be some kind of work they could do if it were possible to get them such employment. I was disappointed with the provision in the Pensions Act, and I believe that the interpretation of the provision should be at least as generous as in the Workers Compensation Act, The principle accepted in interpretation of the words " totally and permanently disabled " in the New South Wales Workers Compensation Act is that a worker is regarded as being " totally and permanently incapacitated if he by the injury is rendered incapable of earning his living in the competition of the labour market, notwithstanding that he remains physically capable of doing some kind of work which he has not got and is not likely to get.

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