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Wednesday, 25 September 1974
Page: 1429

Senator Greenwood asked the Minister representing the Minister for Labor and Immigration, upon notice:

(   1 ) Did the Prime Minister state on 1 8 July 1973 that the Government was confident that losses which might affect individuals as a result of the 25 per cent reduction in tariffs would be adequately offset by readily available assistance.

(2)   Is the Government aware of any losses suffered by individuals as a result of the reduction in tariffs.

(3)   What readily available assistance may offset such losses.

(4)   Have any individuals availed themselves of such assistance; if so, how many, and what has been the assistance.

Senator Bishop - The Minister for Labor and Immigration has supplied the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(   1 ) The statement issued by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Overseas Trade on 18 July 1973 outlined the Government's decision to reduce tariffs by 25 per cent, the context of that decision and the assistance that would be available to workers who lose their jobs as a result of the tariff reductions and to firms who are seriously affected by imports.

(2)   Yes. Some workers have lost their jobs. Strenuous efforts are made by the Commonwealth Employment Service to ensure that they are helped to find other employment and that where appropriate, they are advised of the special readjustment assistance available to them.

(3   ) The main forms of assistance provided have been:

(a)   special readjustment assistance, a weekly amount equal to the person's average weekly wage in the previous 6 months, until he or she is offered suitable alternative employment, up to a maximum period of 6 months. Proprietors of small enterprises affected may be treated as employees, if they wish; and

(   b) retraining for those suited by age, health, etc.

(4)   Yes. As at 2 August 1974, the latest date for which comprehensive statistics are available, 4,252 retrenched persons had submitted applications for Income Maintenance and of this number 8 were proprietors of small enterprises who had elected to be treated as employees.

Hawker, Australian Capital Territory: Proposed Primary School (Question no. 58)

Senator Withers asked the Minister representing the Minister for Education, upon notice:

(   1 ) Is a primary school to be constructed at Hawker, in the Australian Capital Territory.

(2)   When is construction to commence.

(3)   When is construction to be completed.

(4)   Can the planned program be met.

(5)   If the school is not constructed by the anticipated date, what arrangements are to be made to provide education facilities for the children in the Hawker area.

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) - The Minister for Education has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1)   Yes.

(2   ) The contract is to be let in October 1 974.

(3)   November 1975.

(4)   The planned program can be met provided the contractor is not unduly hampered by shortage of materials and labour, or other problems in the building industry.

(5)   If the Hawker school is not available at the beginning of 1976, the children already enrolled at Weetangera will probably remain at that school until the Hawker school is available. However, other contingency action may be necessary involving transporting children by bus to other schools.

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