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Nt schools battle federal odds



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Senator G ra n t Tam bling Shadow Minister for Regional Development, External Territories and Northern Australia _

Media Release

NT SCHOOLS BATTLE FEDERAL ODDS

Disadvantaged schools in the Northern Territory were facing an uphill battle for money as a result of flaws in a Federal

Government program, Senator Grant Tambling told the Senate today.

Speaking on the Aboriginal Education (Supplementary Assistance) Bill 1991, Senator Tambling hit out at the Disadvantaged Schools Program and its bias towards the southern states.

"Schools in the Northern Territory, particularly in remote Aboriginal communities, are discriminated by the very program set up to help them. Flawed criteria ignore the needs of Aborigines and the long-term unemployed to the point where several

Aboriginal schools are now identified as the least disadvantaged in the Northern Territory.

"One of these, Papunya, is in a community with a permanent

unemployment rate of 71 per cent. How that school can be

identified as one of the least disadvantaged in the NT is of concern to me and should be of concern to the NT Federal Member."

Senator Tambling drew attention to the impact of the Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) on a community's

eligibility for the Disadvantaged Schools Program.

"Under CDEP, Aborigines in certain communities work for the dole and therefore are classified as employed even though they may not have real jobs. So, as a direct result of CDEP, the community's eligibility for the Disadvantaged Schools Program suffers."

Earlier Senator Tambling condemned the Federal Government and NT Federal Member, Mr Warren Snowdon, for neglecting the development of Aboriginal education.

"For too long the Federal Labor Government has used the Northern Territory to trial its social and economic experiments.

"Similarly, Mr Snowdon has his roots in radical teacher union politics and Aboriginal land politics and, unfortunately, is not interested in the efficient delivery of education services."

ENDS contacti SenaLvr Grant Tambling 06-2773436 Tiz Zeroni 06-2773436

9.10.91