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Social Welfare Legislation

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Sarah Shepherd

on 21 May 2014

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Transcript of Social Welfare Legislation

NRC: Social Welfare Legislation
"New Protection Legislation" 1905 - 1908
- In 1905, Deakin Government wanted to increase tariffs in imports

- To gain Labor's support, Deakin tied the policy to another to benefit workers

- Customs Tariff Act (1906) imposed £12 tax on all imported stripper-harvesters

- Excise Tariff Act (1906) imposed £6 tax on locally produced stripper-harvesters, unless the manufacturer could show that he was paying his workers 'fair and reasonable' wages

- EG: "The Harvester Judgement" (1907): determined what was classified as 'fair and reasonable' - H.V. McKay of the Sunshine Harvester Company applied for exemption paying employees 6 shillings/day. It was ruled that 7 shillings/day for a 6 day week was fair (£2 2 shillings for a week's work)
Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1904
- Creation of Conciliation and Arbitration Court under High Court Chief Justice - compulsorily involve parties in industrial disputes (workers, employees) in conciliation processes

- Lord Hopetoun (first GG of Australia) announced on May 10 1901 that this would be part of the government's legislative program

- "While all agreed in principle...there was great dispute over who would be covered by it" (Lewis) EG: Kingston wanted men on sea ships included; Watson's Labor Government resigned when agricultural and domestic workers were excluded; Acting PM Deakin later resigned

- Deakin in 1903: "Such legislation multiplies the opportunities of the masses" - but initially slow to act; pulled in by Labor
Benefits and responsibilities review
What are the responsibilities of the government/citizens?

In three of its earliest Acts of Parliament, the Commonwealth had determined in a NEGATIVE way who could/could not be an Australian citizen. Now, it turned its attention to the benefits and responsibilities of citizenship.

Benefits and responsibilities of women?

There was an expectation that Federation would improve the lives of many
Maternity Allowances Act 1912
- Aim to increase the mother-child survival rates during birth by improved medical care

- Provided a £5 payment to mother after the birth of the child - "Baby Bonus"

- "Reserved for the white woman" (Mirams)
Invalid and Old Age Pension Act 1908
- Introduced due to the increasing number of people over the age of 65

- Attitudes towards pensioners had changed

- This act was essentially a "gift from the state to those who aided the development of the resources of the country" (Lewis)

- Pensions (£26 per year, 10 shillings per week) were paid to people who were 65+ or permanently incapacitated and unable to work

- "Aliens, Asiatics and Aborigines were excluded from the scheme" (Lewis)
Learning Objective: Learn about the response to the hope for better working conditions and investigate how a safer, more caring Australia was created.
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