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Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4557


Mr Whitlam asked the Minister for Social Services, upon notice:

(1)   On what dates have reports been made by the interdepartmental committee established to make a survey of handicapped children and the facilities available for their use (Hansard, 28th September 1971, page 1602, and 11th November 1971, page 3440).

(2)   When will the reports be presented to the House.

(3)   What consideration has his Department given to the recommendation on physically and mentally handicapped persons by the Senate Select Committee on Medical and Hospital Costs in its report tabled on 2nd June and by the Senate Standing Committee on Mentally and Physically Handicapped Persons in its report tabled on Sth May 1971 (Hansard, 7th September 1971, page 887 and 28th October 1971, page 2792).


Mr Wentworth - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   and (2) As indicated in my reply to Question No. 3718 asked by the honourable member (Hansard, 28th September 1971, page 1602) it is not the policy of the Government lo give information on these matters which concern advice to Ministers and arrangements between Ministers and their advisers. Similarly it is not the practice to publish reports prepared for the information of Cabinet.

(3)   An interdepartmental committee has been established to examine in detail the recommendations made by the Senate Standing Committee on Health and Welfare in its Report on Mentally and Physically Handicapped Persons in Australia. This examination will encompass the more general recommendation on the physically and mentally handicapped made by the Senate Select Committee on Medical and Hospital Costs. I also refer the Honourable Member to the reply given by the Minister for Health on 23rd November 1971 (see Senate Hansard at page 1960).







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