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Tuesday, 9 November 1971
Page: 3131


Mr BENNETT - My question to the Acting Prime Minister is supplementary to a question I asked last Wednesday. Has he yet found, or had drawn to his attention, a telegram from the Building Workers Union group which was sent on 29th October 1971 requesting him to take action on unemployment in Western Australia?


Mr Reynolds - Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I am sorry to interrupt my colleague, but I believe that the Minister for Education and Science is now writing out-


Mr SPEAKER -Order! There is no point of order. The honourable member knows full well that he must not interrupt another honourable member who is on his feet and speaking. I suggest to the honourable member for Swan that he commence again.


Mr BENNETT - My question is directed to the Acting Prime Minister and is supplementary to my question of Wednesday last. Has he yet found or had drawn to his attention the telegram from the Building Workers Union group in Western Australia sent on 29th October 1971 requesting him to take action on unemployment in Western Australia, particularly in the building industry, and requesting that the Minister for Labour and National Service be sent to Western Australia to view the situation? What action has he taken to date, and what further action does he plan to take in the matter? Further, will he inform the House why a special grant asked for previously by the same group to bolster the building industry was refused?


Mr ANTHONY - A telegram was sent on the 29th and it did request that I ask the Minister for Labour and National Service to go to Western Australia to investigate the unemployment and the building industry there. This telegram was subsequent to 2 earlier telegrams that had been sent, one on 4th October and one on 13th

October, referring to unemployment in the building industry and asking that a $30m grant be made to Western Australia to assist it in this respect. A reply was sent back to the union on 26th October to the effect that there was no evidence of lack of finance in the State for building and that the present situation resulted fundamentally from an extremely high level of construction in recent years leading to a situation of temporary over building. We are conscious that there is a degree of unemployment there. We believe it is a temporary situation. We are watching the situation. 1 am conferring with my colleague, the Minister for Labour and National Service, and if action needs to be taken at the Commonwealth level we will do so.







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