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Friday, 19 November 1965


Mr SPEAKER - Order! If the honorable member were to try to relate his remarks to the Bill he would be much more interesting.


Mr GILES - I shall attempt to do that. Already there is in South Australia a sign that socialistic legislation of a nonproductive character will detract from funds that could be highly productive, not only in the University but also throughout the State in general. I think it is worthwhile making the point that if South Australia is to continue as a properly functioning, viable State within the Australian economy, a larger part of its Budget will have to be channelled into productive measures such as that envisaged in this Bill. Obviously, Mr. Speaker, it is quite vital to the efficient functioning of the State that that should be done. I repeat that I definitely disapprove of the attitude of the South Australian Minister for Education.

This Bill represents the type of Federal action that is needed in Australia. The Bill provides funds to help intelligent people at university level to conduct worthwhile research. I once again dissociate myself from any view that insinuates, even vaguely, that this amount of money should not be given to South Australia. In the past in that State ample elasticity within the budgetary framework has always been allowed in order to take full advantage of any type of action such as that contemplated in this Bill. I have a copy of a television announcement made by the South Australian Minister for Education in which he complained bitterly that nothing was known of this new apportionment of funds in South Australia until August of this year. I have it on certain authority - it is readily available to all honorable members to study - that on 23rd March 1965 the Premiers were advised that the Commonwealth would provide its share of £1 million in. 1966 for general research purposes in universities, and that it would set aside £1 million as its share of the remaining £2 million for allocation to approved research projects on the advice of a committee. Not only was that information available but also the Prime Minister (Sir Robert Menzies) in his speech during March on the report of the Martin Committee made it quite plain that the States could well expect in the future to have a differential applying on the usual formula for these research funds. I think probably that every State, except maybe South Australia, was well prepared for the different allocation that did in fact occur. I complete my remarks by saying that I admire the action of the Government in setting up the Robertson Committee. I think the basis and the merit of the project, and the quality of the investigator in this instance, contrary to the old formula combined to produce a very excellent way of getting at a sensible and proper distribution of these funds.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

Message from the Governor-General recommending appropriation announced.







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