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Tuesday, 12 June 1984
Page: 2807


Senator COLSTON —I direct my question to the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs. It refers further to the article which appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald which was mentioned earlier by Senator Giles. I ask the Minister whether it is correct that, in that article, Dame Leonie Kramer was quoted as saying:

The Opposition . . . does not come through very clearly at the moment. I don't get any sense there is enough clarity in their position on certain issues.

If so, is it correct, as Professor Kramer says, in relation to her think tank activities, that she will be concentrating on education issues? Is this criticism of the Opposition's education policies and, in particular, the Opposition spokesperson on education justified?


Senator RYAN —It seems that the article about Professor Kramer was quite thoroughly read by several of my colleagues. I seem to recall, in explaining why she was going into the Fraser think tank, if that term is not an oxymoron, that she was going to try to give some clarity and force to issues such as education which she says have not been coming through clearly. In contrast, I find myself in agreement with her remarks on affirmative action. Certainly there is no clear policy on education coming from the Opposition. There has been a real neglect of education policy issues over the last few months and an absolute preoccupation with some minor matters to do with funding of a few schools in Australia. If Professor Kramer, who knows quite a lot about the administration of universities and who has served on the Universities Council for some years, is going to make a contribution to Liberal thinking in these areas, perhaps we will see some serious attention paid by the Opposition to education policy and less harping on minor issues that are of concern to very few people.