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Wednesday, 22 August 1973
Page: 220

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Armitage (CHIFLEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted. (The document read as follows) -


Mr HAYDEN - Further growth, to a total of $650,000 had been anticipated for 1973- 74, but to this will have to be added $200,000 to cover the 5c per meal increase provided by this Bill. In addition, the changeover to quarterly payments will result in subsidy being paid during 1973-74 on the basis of meals served during a 15-month period - from 1 January 1973 to 31 March 1974. This will incur further additional expenditure of $250,000. Expenditure for 1973-74 is therefore expected to total $l.lm. However, with the reversion to a 12-month period in 1974-75 expenditure for that year should fall back to abbout $850,000.

It is worth noting that last year no fewer than 3,864,474 meals were served by the 354 approved delivered meals services throughout Australia, an increase of about 13 per cent over the number of meals served during the previous year. The vast majority of these meals have been delivered by voluntary workers - in many cases housewives not only giving their time but also giving their own cars. I could not miss this opportunity to pay tribute to all these voluntary workers and I know I speak for all honourable members on both sides of the House when I say thank you to them.

I would also like to acknowledge the value of a series of Meals on Wheels seminars being conducted, in both metropolitan and country centres, under the auspices of the

Council on the Ageing in each State. These seminars enable various aspects of expanding and improving Meals on Wheels and other welfare services to be explored and also provide a forum for varying viewpoints to be expressed. Needless to say the seminars also provide an important source of information for officers of my Department. I am also pleased to hear that at a seminar conducted in Sydney recently by the Dietetic Association of New South Wales it was decided to investigate the nutritional standards of meals being provided for elderly people by Meals on Wheels services, aged persons homes, etcetera. We are hoping that the results of this research will be made available to the Government and that it will provide expert guidelines for further developing the objectives towards which the vitamin C subsidy represented a first step.

Another future objective of my Department is to carry out a survey of the 'coverage' provided by Meals on Wheels services throughout Australia to discover the gaps between the services provided or for that matter, where overlapping or duplication may be occurring. The Western Australian Department of Public Health recently conducted such a survey in its State and has kindly made the data available to my Department. We now propose to extend this survey throughout Australia with a view to ensuring that the splendid service that is rendered by the voluntary workers from Meals on Wheels organisations is made available wherever needed throughout Australia. I commend the Bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Chipp) adjourned.

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