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Wednesday, 23 April 1980
Page: 1712


Earlier today Senator Grimes asked me a question which I was not able to answer. I now have information from the Department of Social Security with regard to the eligibility of persons who have been dismissed or stood down from the Loy Yang power station project in the Latrobe Valley in Victoria. I have been informed that some 600 workers are involved or affected by the industrial dispute at the project. I am also informed that the dispute directly involves members of the Builders Laborers Federation who are not agreeing to work in accordance with the terms of their award.

In this situation the unemployed members of the BLF are not eligible for unemployment benefit. I understand, however, that workers who are members of unions other than the BLF are unemployed as a result of the industrial action being taken. Such members would, subject to other conditions of eligibility, be entitled to receive unemployment benefit. At this stage some 220 claims for unemployment benefit have been lodged of which 106 have been refused because the claimant's unemployment is due to industrial action by him or by members of the union of which he is a member. Such workers will remain ineligible for unemployment benefit as long as the industrial action continues. As I indicated earlier, however, unemployed workers who are members of unions other than the BLF in the Latrobe Valley could be tested to receive unemployment benefit.

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