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Government deaf to rural plea



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P A R L IA M E N T OF A U S T R A L IA

H O U S E OF R E P R E S E N T A T IV E S '< * ■

145 KOORNANG ROAD CARNEGIE, VIC. 3163 TEL. (03) 571 3311 FAX. (03) 571 6020

D R D A V ID K E M P , M .P .

FEDERAL MEMBER FOR GOLDSTEIN SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION

7 June 1991

MEDIA RELEASE

GOVERNMENT DEAF TO RURAL PLEA

"The Federal Opposition has repealed its call on the Government to provide immediate emergency assistance to rural families who face having to take their children from school this year because of financial difficulties.

The Shadow Minister for Education, Dr David Kemp, said the Government had yet to respond to a resolution of the Senate on 13 May calling on the Government to provide emergency assistance in the form of hardship provisions.

Dr Kemp said he had written to the Minister for Higher Education, Mr Baldwin, on 29 May calling for emergency assistance and drawing his attention to the Senate resolution.

"The silence from Mr Baldwin and the whole Government is deafening," said Dr Kemp.

He said he shared the concern expressed today by the United Graziers' Association of Queensland about an apparent lack of concern with educational disadvantage in rural Australia, and the fact that the Government seemed to be using another review to delay acting on this urgent matter.

The Association said four per cent of rural parents were expected to take their children out of school this year because of financial difficulties.

Dr Kemp s a d that in his letter to Mr Baldwin he suggested that low or zero interest loans or grants be provided to families excluded from AUSTUDY benefits by the assets test but whose income has fallen to low levels. Assistance should be provided on a case by case basis.

Ί have not heard from Mr Baldwin. The Government has not responded to the Senate resolution.

"The Government has simply turned its back on the problem. It just doesn't want to know about it," said Dr Kemp.

Inquiries: Norman Abjorensen (06) 277 4151 (w) (06)286 4492 (ah)