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Tuesday, 17 October 1972
Page: 1556

Senator TOWNLEY (TASMANIA) - I ask a question of the Minister for Health: Towards the end of August J askedhim why the payment of$1 4 a week to a person caring for a chronically ill relative was to be delayed until March 1973 and why the payment could not be started much earlier.I raised these queries in question No. 2405 on notice. Will the Minister say whether a reply will be available before the lifting of Parliament?

Senator Sir KENNETH ANDERSON - I can say, with the confidence of being Leader of the Government in the Senate and having regard to the spirit of cooperation thatI would anticipate getting in relation to the Bill which will deal with this proposal. The Bill will originate in the other place because it is a money Bill and will come here by way of message. Part of the Bill will provide for the payment of $14 a week for old folk who are being cared for at home in a domiciliary sense rather than in nursing homes. As I understand the Bill, the rates will apply from 1st March. We can canvass that aspect during the debate, if we wish, but a whole series of procedures will need to be adopted if we do not get the Bill until approximately the time that we are due to finish the sitting in time to prepare for the general election. In the judgment of my advisers, 1st March will be the appropriate date to enable the Department to do all the things that have to be done to provide this benefit. I feel, with confidence, that the Senate will agree in principle to the provision of the benefit.

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