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Wednesday, 2 October 1974
Page: 1585

Senator GUILFOYLE - Mr President,I seek leave to make a short statement of the tabling of that report.

The PRESIDENT -Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.

Senator GUILFOYLE(Victoria)-On a brief reading of the report of the Interdepartmental Committee on the Production of Educational Publications and its conclusions and recommendations, I find interest in the study that was made. I am pleased to note that the report is to be brought to the attention of the appropriate authorities wherever it is applicable. I refer to paragraph 119 of the report, which relates to disadvantaged groups. I take this opportunity to mention the fact that migrant groups in our community at the present time are making representations to us for the supply of text books in various languages. I am thinking particularly of the Italian language text books which that particular migrant group has stressed as being an urgent necessity. I hope that the members of the interdepartmental committee which made this study and the appropriate bodies to which the report is referred will take cognisance of this urgent need which has been expressed at many levels.

I also take this opportunity to refer to paragraph 132, relating to the prices of text books. It seems to me to be appropriate at this stage to mention the Government policy regarding the taxation deduction for education expenses of dependants. The stress placed by this report on the increasing prices of text books draws our attention to the fact that the $150 allowed as a taxation deduction in respect of dependent children is inadequate in view of the text books and other educational requirements of secondary students. I take this opportunity to stress to the Government that this taxation deduction not only was to cover fees at independent schools but also was a recognition of the need for parents of children at all secondary schools to have adequate supplies of books, aids and equipment. I believe this report shows that the prices of the text books required are increasing. I stress to the Government that the particular policy it has adopted will cause hardship for many families throughout

Australia, not just those involved in the independent schools structure.

The report is to be commended. I am pleased to know that the appropriate authorities will have the benefit of the findings of the people who researched this subject. I welcome the report which has been tabled.

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