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Government has no education policy

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82/133 ADELAIDE . 15th October, 1982


Senator Michael Macklin, Australian Dmeocrat Spokesperson

on Education, today accused the Commonwealth Government

of neglecting its constitutional responsibility to formulate

a coherent and informed national policy on education.

"The analysis of the future needs of the nation as a whole

is simply not within the capabilities of the States and,

clearly, the responsibility for the indicative planning needed

must be assumed by the Commonwealth", Senator Macklin stated.

"However, instead of accepting its national responsibility

in this area, the Liberal/National Parties have merely

given the country a series of damaging decisions such as the

absurdity of abolishing the Curriculum Development Centre; the

many mindless amalgamation proposals; seriously diminishing

the authority of the schools; bludgeoning the States into .

reallocating funds from areas of high needs; attempting to

impose fees on second and higher degrees and replace TEAS with

an ill-conceived student loans scheme rather than assisting

development". /

Senator Macklin said that these decisions amounted to nothing

more than a ragbag of expediency, lacking guarantees of recurrent

funding levels, imaginative capital development and replacement

programmes, realistic projections of employment needs and emerging

demands, an acknowledgement of the role of technology in future

economic growth, changing education structures, staffing

requirements both in absolute numbers and quality of preparation,

the integration of education into the social, cultural and

economic developmental needs of Australia. . - · · ' .

"The Australian Democrats firmly believe that we must shift our

first priority to human rather than material development. If

we define our resources in human terms then it follows that our

highest national goal must be in raising education participation

rates and standards, increasing our research expenditure,



developing our technological industries and developing the

intellectual capacity of our people".

"The future economic viability of our nation depends largely

on our capability to achieve these goals. In order to

effectively meet the demands of the remainder of this century,

it is a matter of urgency that the Government develop a

coherent and balanced national education p olicySenator

Macklin concluded. . .


Senator Michael Macklin (07) 391 8899

Conny Lenneberg (03) 61 3791 (work)

(03) 380 6450 (home)