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Wednesday, 22 August 2001
Page: 30037

Mr WAKELIN (7:57 PM) —Despite the good economic outcomes of this government, there is still great concern amongst small business, particularly in Whyalla, about the balance between welfare and the incentive for people to go and look for work. I had a small business person say to me only a few days ago that they were very concerned about the whole attitude, particularly of the opposition, in terms of the belief that somehow or other work is optional. Since this government came into office, many of the things that have challenged this passive welfare approach have been very worth while.

Nevertheless, I rise tonight to express the concern that my constituents have, particularly those in small business, about what the proper balance is when you have this long-time culture that for some people, sadly, it appears that work is optional. A particular person who comes to mind is the Deputy Leader of the Labor Party, Simon Crean; my constituents in the small business community seem to take strong exception to the member for Hotham's approach to this. So tonight I advise the House that I believe this government has done a lot to try to move this whole debate forward and to make the point that honest toil, in whatever form, and challenging the notion of a welfare nation are very important to our future.

Question resolved in the affirmative.