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Tuesday, 6 November 1973
Page: 1525

Senator POYSER - My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Labour. Is it a fact that because of the number of persons thrown out of work as a result of the previous Government's fiscal policies lost man hours far exceeded the man hours lost by industrial disputes which have occurred in recent months? Is it a fact that many of these persons were on the dole for many weeks and, indeed, in some cases for many months? Has this Government by its policies created a situation in which full employment has been virtually attained and in which the number of job vacancies at the moment exceeds the number of people registered as unemployed?

Senator CAVANAGH -Yes, I believe it is a fact that the number of man hours lost as a result of unemployment exceeded the number of man hours lost as a result of strikes in recent years. That was the situation prior to this Government taking office. The position has been rectified to the extent that at the present time the number of job vacancies is far in excess of the number of people seeking employment. So we can say that we have a state of almost full employment. Unfortunate incidents do occur which create dislocation and loss of man hours. This is usually the result of industrial disputes which are totally unnecessary. My Party believes that that situation could be rectified if we had the power to do so, but the Opposition will not let us have that power and therefore it must take the responsibility for the dislocation and the loss of man hours that is occurring at the present time.

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