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Wednesday, 25 September 1974
Page: 1383

Senator BAUME - I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Labor and Immigration. Is unemployment worsening in Australia at the rate of about 1,000 persons a day? Is this situation worsening in spite of all Government initiatives and efforts? Have Government ministers said that there is no way that all the 180,000 anticipated school leavers will be able to find employment in Australia at the end of the year? Is it a fact that the Government has no coherent plans to provide jobs for all Australians who want to work?

Senator BISHOP - The answer to the last part of the question is no. The honourable senator has seen the comments of the Minister for Labor and Immigration in the Press and I have stated them here. The Government has 4 programs to meet the situation. We are aware of it and we want to stay it. Only today, I think, a public statement has been made relating to proposals for regional employment assistance which were announced by Mr Cameron. Some projects in Mr Stewart's area of tourism have been taken up. Projects ranging in cost from about $250,000 to $500,000 are in the list. In addition, and I think this has been published also, the Government has set up a committee to activate a new scheme which might provide some more positive aims in particular areas than the structural assitance payments being made to employees who are redundant because of tariff decisions. There are 2 schemes. Unemployment is growing but the Government has 4 proposals to combat it . I think that very quickly a scheme will be adopted, as outlined to Senator Bessell in recent days, which will fit a situation which has been concerning people employed in industries affected by the tariff decisions.

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