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Wednesday, 9 March 1966

Mr Whitlam m asked the Minister for Territories, upon notice -

What is the nature and extent of loans, grants, subsidies, supplies, concessions and scholarships from public funds for private bodies for educational purposes in the Northern Territory?

Mr Barnes - The answer to the honorable member's question is as follows -

(A)   For the education of non-Aboriginal children -

(i)   The Government provides loans to church and mission organisations for the erection of residential accommodation for children from outback areas who have to .ive away from home to obtain their education. Loans are repayable over 60 years at 1 per cent, interest. $1,860,000 has been advanced to date for this purpose, $28,246 of this amount being advanced during the current financial year.

(ii)   Under a scheme recently introduced, the

Government provides capital assistance for the construction of independent primary and secondary schools in the Northern Territory. The Government will repay the amount of loans for approved projects over 20 years, and will also make an annual interest payment. So far no financial provision has been made for expenditure under this scheme.

(iii)   Pre-school committees which include some committees for privately conducted preschools are subsidised for the purchasing of items of equipment for pre-schools. An amount of $6,200 is provided foi this purpose during the current financial year.

(iv)   Pastoralists who conduct schools on their properties may receive a maximum subsidy of $1,970 per annum for a teacher. $6,000 has been provided for this purpose in 1965-66.

(v)   Assistance is available as follows for children attending both government and private schools -

(a)   Children living more than .en miles from a suitable school may receive a boarding allowance of up to $280 per annum plus fares assistance. About 300 students are receiving this allowance at present, and provision of $90,600 has been made in the current financial year for this purpose.

(b)   Children in necessitous circum stances receive free books and all secondary students receive a book allowance ranging from $16 to $20 per annum. A provision of $3,120 has been made for free books and $19,240 for the secondary book allowance this year.

(c)   The Government provides a con veyance allowance to parents who drive their children to school daily. An estimated $8,400 is spent annually on this. (ti) Students attending tertiary institutions outside the Territory may receive annual return fare ($3,200 provided this year). The Government also meets the surcharge imposed by the University of Queensland on correspondence students ($1,000 this year).

(B)   For the education of Aboriginal children -

(i)   As mentioned above, the Government provides loans to church and mission organisations for the erection of residential accommodation for school children. These organisations are obliged to accept Aboriginal and part-Aboriginal children.

(ii)   Under certain conditions, the Government meets the cost of capital projects for Aboriginal education on mission stations. An amount of $62,000 has been provided in the current estimates for this purpose.

(iii)   The Government pays a subsidy of $1,970 per annum for each qualified teacher employed in mission schools, and an amount of $312 for each Aboriginal teaching assistant This year provision of $94,480 Mas been made for 44 teachers and 25 Aboriginal teaching assistants.

(iv)   Teachers employed by pastoralists also receive a subsidy of up to $1,970 per annum (see (A) (iv) above). An amount of $12,940 has been provided in 1965-66 for this purpose.

(v)   The Government provides school books and supplies and furniture for mission and subsidised pastoral property schools.

(vi)   School committees and parents' organisations on settlements and missions receive a $ for $ subsidy for the purchase of extra school equipment ($2,000 in 1965-66).

(vii)   Selected part-Aboriginal children who under take education and training in the southern States may receive up to $600 per annum for maintenance ($28,000 in 1965-66).

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