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Thursday, 22 May 1980
Page: 3260

Mr Wallis asked the Minister representing the Minister for Social Security, upon notice, on 1 5 May 1980:

(   1 ) What guidelines have been laid down by the Department of Social Security in relation to the eligibility of the unemployed to obtain benefits at the opal mining centres of Coober Pedy and Andamooka, South Australia.

(2)   In view of the fact that many of the unemployed have had some connection with opal mining and consequently are classified as self-employed, what steps must an applicant take under South Australian mining legislation before coming eligible for unemployment benefits.

Mr Hunt -The Minister for Social Security has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1)   To be eligible to receive unemployment benefit the Social Services Act requires that a person must, among other things: be unemployed; be capable of undertaking and be willing to undertake suitable paid work; and have taken reasonable steps to obtain such work.

(2   ) A person who is self-employed as an opal miner would not meet the above requirements of the Act and, therefore, he would be ineligible for unemployment benefit. There are not specific steps which a person who is engaged in opal mining must take, under South Australian mining legislation, before becoming eligible for unemployment benefit. To be eligible for benefit the applicant would have to satisfy the Director-General that he was no longer self-employed as an opal miner that he was capable of and willing to undertake suitable paid work and that he was taking reasonable steps to obtain such work.

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