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Wednesday, 23 May 1973
Page: 2479

Mr BERINSON (PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - I address a question to the Minister for Labour arising from his statement last week that most metropolitan employment grants will be phased out after 30 June this year. In view of the fact that Western Australia's unemployment rates, while much reduced, are. still well above the national average and above the rates in all other mainland States, and in view of the special structural difficulties of Western Australia's unemployment resulting in a much higher proportion of unemployment in the metropolitan areas than applies elsewhere, will the Minister review the exceptions to the phase out which he indicated last week, with a view to giving some greater continuing assistance in the Perth metropolitan area?

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - This question is not altogether without notice. The honourable gentleman has taken this matter up with me quite strongly over the few days that have elapsed since my statement in the Parliament, and I have had representations also from other honourable members from Western Australia. 1 have not heard anything from Opposition supporters but I have from Government supporters. I am impressed by the case that has been put to me by people representing Perth and also by the case that has been put to me by the honourable member for Hawker on behalf of people, in certain parts of Adelaide. There is a case for not cutting off the unemployment relief scheme in certain metropolitan areas - in certain cities and in parts of certain cities. At the moment I have a submission before the Cabinet subcommittee. I cannot tell the House, any more about it at this stage. But in due course the Prime Minister will announce the outcome of that submission and when he does everybody in the House, except those who want to see the scheme fold up so rapidly as to cause hardship, will toe please.d at the Government's decision.

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