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Tuesday, 25 May 1993
Page: 1230


Senator CROWLEY (Minister for Family Services and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women) (8.03 p.m.) —I want to correct what Senator Macdonald said. I think he said that $14 million was given in December. That is not correct. An amount of $8.75 million has been given and there is an expectation of at least another $3 1/2 million. I have also said that those figures cannot be exact until the final acquittals are in.

  As to the rest of Senator Macdonald's question, more than enough has been said about emergency relief. I will not try to hypothesise what is in the so-called mind of the Government. The intention was quite clear: recognising that people like to contribute, the Christmas appeal was matched by the Government last Christmas. Also appreciating that in these tough times there are a number of people who would not have the opportunities they might otherwise have at Christmas, the Government decided to make the offer that it did.

  As I said before, it will also make roughly—I do not have the exact figure and I would rather Senator Macdonald did not hold me to it—$20 million this year in contributions to emergency relief for the ongoing care that the voluntary agencies provide. It is a matter of great generosity. The emergency relief picks up and assists the Government in its concern about people in need. More than enough has been said about this matter. I do not believe that there is much point in trawling over it further.