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Wednesday, 5 December 1973
Page: 2442

Senator JESSOP (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) -Has the attention of the Minister representing the Minister for Labour been drawn to a circular letter being used by the Department of Labour in South Australia for circulation to school leavers relating to employment assistance opportunities? Has he noted the last sentence of this document which states:

You are reminded that persons who are not working and are 16 years of age or over are eligible to apply for unemployment benefit. Payment of this benefit is not automatic and only commences from the date of personal application. If you wish to claim you should call at this office as soon as possible.

Does the Minister agree that this invitation is counter-productive with respect to filling job vacancies particularly at harvest time, which is imminent, and an encouragement to irresponsible people to bludge on the taxpayers of Australia?

Senator BISHOP (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence) - I have not seen the circular to which Senator Jessop referred but from listening to his explanation of the document it would seem to me that what the Department is putting into the statement is simply advice for the information of school leavers. After all, as we know, although there are job opportunities the fact is that in some cases school leavers are not able to get those jobs when it suits them. Although it might suit the organisation concerned or the employer, there may be some time between application by the boy or girl for the job and occupying the job. Consequently, it seems to me to be pretty good advice to young people who may have families which are somewhat dependent. I know, as Senator Jessop knows because he has inspected the premises, that the Minister for Labour and the Labor Government generally have done a lot of new things to advise people about job opportunities. I refer particularly to what has just been established in the centre of Adelaide, a new agency to which young people can go and get advice, both orally and visually, about all sorts of occupations.

Senator Jessop - That is a good thing.

Senator BISHOP -That is a good thing, as the honourable senator says. From the way that Senator Jessop put this matter in his question, it seems to me to be good sense but I will make inquiries and see that the information is given to me. If I can give Senator Jessop any more information I will do so.

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