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Wednesday, 16 August 1972
Page: 137

Senator POKE asked the Minister repre senting the Minister for Social Services, upon notice:

(1)   Are many, unmarried mothers forced by economic circumstances to have their children adopted, thereby denying those mothers the basic right of motherhood.

(2)   Do State Social Welfare Departments provide assistance to unmarried mothers and, in the case of a claimant State, are then penalised by the Loan Council for meeting this humane social need.

(3)   Will the Minister press for a more equitable social service payment to unmarried mothers.

Senator GREENWOOD (VictoriaAttorneyGeneral) The Minister for Social Services has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question: (1), (2) and (3) The situation in this regard was explained in the Second Reading Speech on the States Grants (Deserted Wives) Bill on 5th June 1968 (see Hansard, page 1414).

Under arrangements with the States, provision is made for assistance up to the rate of widow's pension to be given to a single mother caring for her child. However, the assistance granted in any particular case is a matter for determination by the State authorities.

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