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Thursday, 22 August 1996
Page: 2873

The Honourable President and Members of the Senate in Parliament assembled:

We the undersigned oppose the cuts made to programs associated with the provision of labour market assistance to the unemployed.

We view the decision to make these cuts as ill advised and in contravention of the Governments pre-election commitments to maintain services to the unemployed.

We call on all members of Parliament, regardless of political party to do everything possible and ensure that:

1. The Government maintain the real level of labour market program funding at levels equal to or greater than that provided under the previous Government's Working Nation Initiatives.

2. The Government recognises the value of the current SkillShare program as a community provider of services to the unemployed and make provision for the continued existence of, and extension to, this highly successful program.

3. The Government immediately declares a moratorium of any cuts to funding for community based program providers of services to the unemployed and enter into discussions with peak industry advocates, representatives of the unemployed and representatives of employees employed in these services about the most effective ways to deliver these services. That no changes be made to the delivery of these services until these discussions occur.

4. The Government does everything possible to ensure that the experienced and trained employees currently engaged in the provision of community based labour market assistance programs be maintained in these services in order to ensure that unemployed people get the greatest possible opportunity to be successful in gaining meaningful employment.

Your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.