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Tuesday, 19 May 1970

Mr Hayden (OXLEY, QUEENSLAND) asked the Minister for Social Services, upon notice:

(1)   Can he say how many handicapped children there are in Australia.

(2)   Can he also provide the number who are suffering from (a) multiple and (b) single handicaps and indicate the nature of the handicaps in each case.

(3)   How many children suffering' (a) multiple and (b) single handicaps are attending special training centres (i) totally operated by government authorities, (ii) partly supported by government authorities and (iii) privately operated organisations without any government support at all.

(4)   What are the details of support given to special training centres where government authorities partly assist in their operations.

(5)   Will he give the sources and the nature of the data from which the answers in this question have been compiled.

(t)   Can he give comparative figures for (a) the

United Kingdom, (b) Canada, (c) the United

States of America, (d) New Zealand and (e) the

Scandinavian countries in relation to any of the matters referred to in this question.

Mr Wentworth (MACKELLAR, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Social Services) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   and (2) The number of handicapped children in Australia is not known. In 1968, however, the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics carried out a survey of persons suffering from chronic illnesses in all States other than Victoria. A chronic illness was defined as one affecting the individual at the date of the interview and one which he had suffered for more than six months. To date, findings have been published enly in respect of New South Wales where it was indicated that some 2.5 per cent of children under the age of 15 years were stated to suffer from one or more chronic condition which in some way limited their activities. The number suffering from multiple and single handicaps was not given in the survey report and details of the nature of the illness were not published for the relevant age groups.

In any estimate of the number of handicapped children, the definition of the term 'handicapped' is, of course, important.

(3)   The information is nol available.

(4)   All State Governments provide centres for accommodating and training mentally sub-normal persons, including children, as well as subsidising certain private charitable and religious organisations assisting in the care and training of handicapped children. The nature and extent of the subsidy varies between States and between organisations within a State.

So far as the Commonwealth Government is concerned, a benefit of $1.50 per child per day is payable to charitable and religious organisations conducting approved homes accommodating and caring for physically and mentally handicapped children under 16 years of age.

In addition, the Department of Social Services provides rehabilitation treatment and training for young people 14 or 15 years of age who, without treatment or training, would be likely to qualify for an invalid pension when they reach 16 years of

(5)   The report mentioned under items I and 2 above was published in June 1969 by the Bureau of Census and Statistics under the title 'New South Wales Survey of Chronic illnesses, Injuries and Impairments, May 1968".

(6)   While no comprehensive details on the incidence of disability among children in overseas countries arc known to be available, a recent report by the British Department of Education and Science estimated the number of disabled children in the United Kingdom who required special education as 1.32 per cent of the school agc population.

Nurses: Training and Conditions of Employment (Question No. 108) Mr Whitlam asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: (!) How many nurses (a) commenced and (b) completed training in each Stale and Territory in each of the last 10 years.

(2)   What is (a) the entry standard, (b> the length of the course and (c) the fee for the course in each State and Territory.

(3)   What salaries, allowances, accommodation, books and other assistance are made available to trainee nurses by (a) the Commonwealth. (b) each Stale or Territory and (c) other authorities.

(4)   To what extent are certificates awarded (a) in each State recognised in the other States and the Territories and (b) in each Territory recognised in the other Territory and the States.

(5)   How many nurses were employed in each State and Territory in each of the last' 10 years.

(6)   What was the ratio of nurses to (a) hospital beds and (b) population in each State and Territory and in the Commonwealth in each of the last 10 years.

(7)   How many nurses

Dr Forbes (BARKER, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Health) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The information in the following answer, where relating to State nursing activities, has been provided by the various State Authorities.



(a)   Entry Standards - Minimum requirement is the School Certificate in four subjects al the ordinary level or above, and must include both English and Mathematics.

(b)   Length of Course - 3 years

(c)   Fees- Nil


(a)   Entry Standards - Minimum requirement is Leaving Certificate in four subjects including English and Mathematics. If a student does not have a pass in Mathematics a pass in the Victorian Nursing Council Arithmetic examination must be obtained.

(b)   Length of Course - 3 years

(c)   Fees- Nil


(a)   Entry Standards - varies with hospital. A pass in the 'Junior* examination is usually regarded as the minimum.

(b)   Length of Course - 3 years

(c)   Fees- Nil '


(a)   Entry Standards- - Intermediate Certificate with five subjects, including English, Mathematics and three others, only one of which can be a craft' subject.

(b)   Length of Course - In Government hospitals - 3 years 3 months. In other hospitals- 4 years Trainees may do two years in a country hospital followed by two years at the Royal Adelaide Hospital for their four year course.

(c)   Fees- Nil


(a)   Entry Standards - Pass at third year high school standard in five subjects - one from each of the following groups: (1) English

(2)   Maths 1, Maths II, Arithmetic, Elementary Maths or Arithmetic and Algebra

(3)   Social Studies A, or B, History or Geography

(4)   Science A or B, Chemistry, Physics or Biology

(5)   Home Science, Physiology and Hygiene, Art, Foreign Language, Music, Geometry and Trigonometry, Geography, Social Studies, History, Scripture or Commerce.

For progression to 'Post Graduate' studies, fifth year high school education is a pre-requisite.

(b)   Length of Course - 3 years

(c)   Fees- Nil


(a)   Entry Standards - School Certificate with passes in four subjects, including English II and Maths J.

(b)   Length of Course - 3 years

(c)   Fees - Nil


(a)   Entry Standards - N.S.W. Nurses Entrance Examination, or N.S.W. School Certificate or equivalent.

(b)   Length of Course - 3 years

(c)   Fees- Nil


(a)   Entry Standards - Intermediate Certificate or equivalent, including passes in English and Arithmetic or Mathematics. In addition, other requirements in accordance with the Nurses' Registration Board and Public Service Regulations. Upgrading of entry standards to Leaving Certificate or equivalent by mid 1970 is anticipated.

(b)   Length of Course - 3 years

(c)   Fees- Nil


State awards apply for trainee nurses in repatriation general hospitals throughout Australia.


New South WalesStocking allowance - $0.15 per week. Uniforms provided and laundered free. Student and trainee nurses count the lime occupied al lectures during duly times as working time.

Queensland - Uniforms provided and laundered free. Free Medical and Hospital Service.

Tasmania -

Uniforms generally provided and laundered free of charge.

Australian Capital Territory - On commencing duty, trainee nurses are issued with 6 uniform dresses, 10 aprons and I cap free of charge. Replacements are made as required. All laundering of uniforms is done -at the hospital, free of charge.

Victoria -

Uniform dresses, aprons and caps are supplied by training school.

The Hospitals and Charities Commission awards bursaries of $208 per year to assist a prospective nurses to complete High School education.

Northern Territory' -

District Allowance al 17 - S20O per annum District Allowance -at 18 and over - $400 per annum

Uniform Allowance $60 per annum

South Australia - Uniform Allowance - 35 cents per week Meals on premises

Western Australia -

Uniforms are provided by the hospital and laundered at the hospital but where this is not practicable employees are paid 5(1 cents per week laundering allowance. Where a stipulated type of stocking must be worn, the hospital must provide 6 pairs per year to each trainee nurse.


Accommodation is made available to trainee nurses al all Commonwealth, State and Territory Hospitals.

(d)   BOOKS

As a general rule, hospital books are available from training school libraries, but students usually provide their own text books.

(4)   Certificates of general nursing training awarded in each State and Territory are recognised by the nursing registration authorities of every other State and Territory, although applications may be considered individually. Certificates awarded for post-basic and post-graduate training are recognised in other States and Territories where equivalent training is available. For example, the Certificate of Geriatric Nursing obtained in Tasmania cannot be registered in other States since there is no similar training available.

(5)   , (6) and (7) There is no source from which accurate and' comprehensive statistics of registered nursing personnel in Australia can be derived. Consequently, it is not possible to provide the information sought by the honourable member.

In regard to 6 (a) it may be possible to establish the nurse/hospital bed ratio far a representative hospital or hospitals in the capital cities and further information is being sought on ibis aspect and will be provided to the honourable member if a\ aailable

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