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Wednesday, 17 October 1973
Page: 2240

Mr BERINSON (PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - I direct a question to the Minister for Education. To enable a factual comparison of past and present government programs in education, will the Minister indicate the amount of Commonwealth grants which will be paid to government and nongovernment schools in the current year, and also the comparable anticipated levels of assistance for 1974 and 1975?

Mr BEAZLEY (FREMANTLE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Education) - Honourable gentlemen will recall that when the late Government's last education legislation was introduced in the House in September 1972 the then Opposition undertook to continue it in all its forms for 12 months and then to have it restructured after an investigation by a schools commission. Following the legislation of the late Government, this year the Australian Government spends on state schools $28. 4m and on non-government schools $60.2m. This includes everything - science laboratories, grants, library grants, recurring grants, capital - for the academic or calendar year 1973. I am not able to add, however, to the fact that the late Government's policy was to make, through the Department of Social Security, grants on a $2 for $1 basis for nongovernment efforts for the education of the handicapped while no grants were made to State government efforts for the education of handicapped children. The first complaints I received as Minister were from Liberal Ministers in State governments about the fact that they could set up schools attached to hospitals, and that they had about 85 per cent of handicapped children in state schools but got no grants. The position next year will be that Commonwealth grants to government schools will rise from $28.4m this year to $19 1.8m, and that Commonwealth grants to nongovernment schools will rise from $60.2m this year to $84.7m. In 1975 Commonwealth grants to government schools will rise to $303.7m and to non-government schools will rise to $107 .9m.

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