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Wednesday, 27 May 1942

Mr BERNARD CORSER (WIDE BAY, QUEENSLAND) - I have received a complaint from the Gympie branch of the Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners of Australia to the effect that the Commonwealth Department of Works brought a number of carpenters from Brisbane to Gympie in order to carry out certain air raids precautions work at the Gympie post office, although local unemployed carpenters were available for the work. An officer of the department, who visits Gympie periodically, was personally informed that a number of unemployed members of the society living in Gympie were anxious to do the work. The train fares of the labourers who were sent from. Brisbane cost the department £1 16s. each. The wages of local workers would have amounted to £6 2s., whereas £12 6s. 4d. was paid to the imported workers, the difference being made up in overtime at double rates. the cost of board and lodging, &c. Will the Minister for Labour and National Service consider the society's demand that a searching inquiry be made into the "whole sordid business . . . the grave injustice done to local men, and the scandalous waste of the country's money " ?

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