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Wednesday, 5 March 1980
Page: 542

Senator BISHOP (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - My question, which is directed to the Minister for Social Security, refers to the circumstances at the Kensington Park Community College where 10 young Adelaide women are doing a typing and receptionist course provided by that College. If they should attend that course in the times allocated for training they would be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefit. It is impossible to adjust the times if the course is to be done in a proper fashion. I ask the Minister to examine the circumstances of the case which, to me, seem to be quite different from other cases because in this case the girls cannot get employment. They have told the Department that if they can secure employment in any capacity they will give up their training. It is a case also where the women have not previously been able to get into that course. I ask the Minister whether she would be good enough to examine the circumstances, because the local member and I have been asked to make representations about the case.

Senator Dame MARGARET GUILFOYLE -I certainly will undertake to look at the matter raised by Senator Bishop. I believe it would be understood by him that there are requirements for unemployment benefit which require a person to be able to accept employment if it is offered. I understand from the honourable senator's remarks that these girls at the College are fulfilling that requirement on request of employment opportunities. I think it is also understood that, as a general practice, there is a rule that where some part time study is undertaken less than eight hours a week is the normally accepted time that would not disqualify someone from receiving unemployment benefit. However, it is possible to look at individual circumstances. I certainly give an assurance that I will see that the Department looks at the course and the availability for employment of the girls concerned. I will give an early answer to Senator Bishop.

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