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Thursday, 14 September 1972
Page: 1516

Mr Hayden asked the Minister for Social Services, upon notice:

(1)   Has his attention been drawn to Staff Instruction 693 of 14lh July 1972 emanating from the Social Security Branch of the Brisbane Office of his Department and relating to payment of unemployment benefit to persons residing at the Salvation Army Home, 58 Glenrosa Road, Red Hill.

(2)   If so, under what authority was the arbitrary decision made to limit residents of the Salvation Army Home to a maximum of 2 weeks unemployment benefit.

(3)   At what other homes or institutions throughout Australia has this practice or a variant of the practice been applied and on what grounds was the action taken.

(4)   Why has this repressive discrimination been applied against a low status group who are most unlikely to be able to defend: their position or demand redress.

(5)   Are there any proposals to apply the same sort of repressive discrimination and arbitrary punitive measures against middle class householders drawing on unemployment benefits; if not, why have the low status people been specially separated.

Mr Wentworth - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   to (5) The Salvation Army Home, 58 Glenrosa Road, Red Hill, is similar in nature to a number of establishments throughout Australia which are mainly concerned with persons undergoing rehabilitation.

As an essential part of their rehabilitation, persons residing in the home are required to work. Some are employed at domestic and garden duties and others are employed at salvage work for the Salvation Army.

While I applaud the value to the community of the work of the Salvation Army in this field, it is not possible under the provisions of the Social Services Act for my Department to grant an unemployment benefit to a person who is employed. However, every effort is being made to co-operate with the Salvation Army and assist in its Rehabilitation programme wherever possible.

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