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Friday, 1 June 1984
Page: 2344

Senator RYAN (Minister for Education and Youth Affairs)(10.29) —I gave Senator Harradine as full as possible an account of what the officers believed would be useful information. The particular words Senator Harradine quoted-I notice he included the description 'sic'-came from the Age. I do no recall that they were precisely my words. I was giving some examples of the kinds of areas of misinformation which had come to the attention of the Department and to me. There are obviously others that we know about because they are here with us daily. I can only repeat what I have said: The Department wanted to know how it was that people whose children were in schools which had received increased funding believed that they had had reduced funding. In some cases they wrote and said they had been told by their principals that school fees would have to go up because funding had been cut, when the situation was the reverse.

In other cases there were other figures in authority who had spoken of cuts in areas where there had only been increases. That was part of the misinformation which the officers were naturally concerned about. I think we are all concerned about misinformation. The original survey would have tried to test, I suppose, where the misinformation was coming from so that it could be more effectively corrected.