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Wednesday, 9 March 1977
Page: 11

Mr MORRIS (SHORTLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES) -I ask the Prime Minister: Does he agree with the statement that unemployment in Australia is a myth?

Mr MALCOLM FRASER -The honourable gentleman would well know that the Government's policies are directed towards achieving a full recovery in the Australian economy that will enable soundly based businesses to operate and to provide employment for those Australians who wish to work. I think also it ought to be understood that for those who want to work and who are unable to find work the personal tragedy involved is a very great one indeed not only for the individual but also for the family as a whole. I hope that every honourable member of this House shares that view. At the same time I think a large number of members of this House are also aware of people who have travelled to certain areas where there has not been much work and who seem not to want to work. The obligation that the Commonwealth has to those who could work but who do not want to work is something which I think honourable members should be able to examine if they feel inclined to have proper concern for the way in which taxpayers' dollars are spent. There have been widespread allegations of abuse in this matter. The Government would be derelict in its duty if it were not prepared to try to examine that aspect. When we have the results of the Norgard inquiry into the Commonwealth Employment Service I think we all might be better advised about the facts of the situation.

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