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Thursday, 31 May 1984
Page: 2272


Senator WALSH —(Minister for Resources and Energy) (6.15)-I move:

That the Bills be now read a second time.

I seek leave to have the second reading speeches incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speeches read as follows-

STATES GRANTS (SCHOOLS ASSISTANCE) AMENDMENT BILL 1984

The main purpose of this Bill is to adjust grants to government and non- government schools in the States and Northern Territory for cost increases, in line with the Government's very important decision to re-introduce retrospective cost supplementation arrangements for Schools Commission programs. These arrangements represent a considerable step forward for school systems and authorities and mean that they are now able to plan ahead in the confidence that grants will be maintained in real terms. This will involve a further appropriation of $9.7m. This Bill also includes a number of minor amendments including clarifying some aspects of building and equipment grants for schools serving predominantly Aboriginal communities.

In the second reading debate on the States Grants (Schools Assistance) Bill 1983, I undertook to establish an independent appeals tribunal to consider appeals by non-government schools against their classification for recurrent funding purposes. I have had the matter under consideration and I have asked the Schools Commission to consult with non-government school authorities and organisations on the form of a suitable appeals mechanism before the necessary legislation is introduced in the Budget Session. I commend the Bill to the Senate.

STATES GRANTS (TERTIARY EDUCATION ASSISTANCE) AMENDMENT BILL 1984

The primary purposes of this Bill is to adjust grants to universities, colleges of advanced education and technical and further education institutions for cost increases, in line with the Government's decision to re-introduce retrospective cost supplementation arrangements for Commonwealth Tertiary Education Commission Programs. Under these arrangements, all wage and salary increases during the program year will be met, while increases in non-salary and capital costs will continue to be met up to the beginning of each program year. These arrangements make an important contribution to rational and stable planning by tertiary institutions.

The total amount of supplementation to be provided under this Bill is $62.2m.

I commend the Bill to the Senate.

STATES GRANTS (EDUCATION ASSISTANCE-PARTICIPATION AND EQUITY) AMENDMENT BILL 1984

The primary purpose of this Bill is to supplement for cost increases the grants available to government and non-government education authorities in the States and the Northern Territory to conduct projects and programs under the new Participation and Equity Program which the Government introduced this year. This adjustment is in accord with the government's undertaking to provide retrospective cost supplementation for this program. The adjustments are consistent with those being made to the States Grants (Schools Assistance) and States Grants (Tertiary Education Assistance) Amendment Bills which are also before the Senate today. This supplementation will involve a further appropriation of $1.074m for each of the years 1984, 1985 and 1986.

I commend the Bill to the Senate.

Debate (on motion by Senator Kilgariff) adjourned.