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Tuesday, 25 March 1980
Page: 947

Senator THOMAS (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - Is the Minister for Social Security aware that information is not available from her Department as to the number of disabled people receiving government benefits in Western Australia under the various classifications of disability? Will the Minister consider requiring her Department to record this statistical information, if for no other purpose than to provide the Government with information it needs when it makes policy decisions affecting disabled people?

Senator Dame MARGARET GUILFOYLE -I will need to seek from the Department of Social Security what classifications are kept in a statistical form for those people who receive from the Department invalid pensions, handicapped child allowances or benefits of that sort. Certainly it would be of use to the Department to know the number of people who receive pensions, benefits or payments on account of these disabilities. It would be also of great assistance to the Government in the wider context to have statistics of the incidence of many disabilities in the Australian community. I have expressed recently hopes that, working with the Australian Bureau of Statistics, we may be able to enhance the knowledge that we have of these matters, particularly as we approach the International Year of the Disabled Person. I will seek for Senator Thomas what classifications in statistical form are available, and will see that he is advised.

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