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In consequence of the increase in unemployment during 1929 and the early part of 1930 Parliament considered measures for the provision of moneys for the relief of unemployment and in May 1930 two Acts were passed - the Unemployment Relief Act 1930 (No.3866) and the Stamps (Unemployment Relief) Act 1930 (No.3868) - authorising the raising of a certain amount of moneys. The increase in unemployment continued and, in December 1930, the Unemployment Relief Amendment Act 1930 (No.3948) was passed providing for the raising of additional moneys. The amending Act also provided for the appointment of an Unemployment Relief Works Board which was constituted on 13 January 1931 with power to approve certain allocations of moneys from the Unemployment Relief Fund for unemployment relief works. Up to December 1931 allocations were made to:
Lands Department, for land settlement and single men's camps
Mines Department, for grants to miners and assistance to prospectors
Country Roads Board, for making roads for isolated settlers
Forests Commission, for single men's camps
Public Works, for subsidies to municipalities
State Rivers and Water Supply Commission.
The Unemployment Relief (Amendment) Act 1932 (No.4023) provided for the establishment of the Employment Council of Victoria to consider and recommend methods for the prevention and relief of unemployment. The Council superseded the Unemployment Relief Works Board.
During the war years the expenditure from the Fund on relief works reduced considerably until by 1945 it appears that the only relief works were undertaken at the Zoo. It is not clear when the Employment Council of Victoria ceased to operate although it was still reporting to the Treasurer/Premier until at least March 1945.
Unemployment Relief Works Board, Report for the Quarter Ended 31 December 1931 (in Papers Presented to Parliament, Second Session 1932)