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Monday, 25 March 1985
Page: 702


Senator REYNOLDS —Is the Minister for Education aware of teacher and parent concern about the way in which Federal education funds are allocated in Queensland? Furthermore, is the Minister aware that state schools are being repainted with community employment program funds? Will the Minister discuss accountability procedures with her ministerial colleague Ralph Willis and ensure that the Queensland Government is not propping up its ailing economy by misdirecting Federal education and job creation funds?


Senator RYAN —I am not aware of any particular incidents in which community employment program funds are being used to do essential maintenance on Queensland schools. However, I shall certainly speak to our ministerial colleague Mr Willis and have that matter investigated. I also comment generally, too, that I have received frequent complaints from Queensland about Queensland's share of tertiary funding. I simply place on record again the fact that of the extra tertiary places that this Government has made available-about 5,000, I think, to date-the lion's share has gone to Queensland. The reason is that the provision of tertiary places in Queensland was lower per head of population than in any other State, for the simple reason that in the years before the Whitlam Government assumed full funding responsibility for tertiary education, successive State governments in Queensland had been very negligent in this area. Of course, not long after the Whitlam Government assumed full Federal funding of tertiary education, it was replaced by the Fraser Government, which, as everybody knows, reduced the funds available to tertiary education and thus provided no opportunity for the citizens of Queensland to make up the shortfall that their State Government has caused. However, that shortfall is now being made up. In respect for the use of CEP funds for school maintenance projects in Queensland, I shall certainly seek that information for Senator Reynolds.