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In reply to statement by Mr L. Rootseym President of Australian Teachers Federation



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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

ISSUED IN REPLY TO STATEMENT'BY MR L. ROOTSEY, " '

PRESIDENT OF AUSTRALIAN TEACHERS FEDERATION______

MINISTERIAL 22 ; 29 JULY 1976

STATEMENT BY THE COMMONWEALTH MINISTER FOR EDTIOATTON ' ' '

SENATOR JOHN CARRICK. . . ' ยท

I have given no instructions to the Education Department

"to quash the Schools Commission and to take over its

functions". . .

This is inventive nonsense, of the same calibre as the

calumnious.scare tactics poured out earlier this year

and now shown to be totally false.

It is equally false to state, as Mr Rootsey does, that

"besides the general recurrent and the already slashed capital

grants for education the move puts at risk school-based

funding in the disadvantaged schools, innovations and

special education program. Migrants and the socially

disadvantaged will be hit hardest of all". .

The blunt fact is that the Fraser Government's guidelines

to the Schools Commission with regard to its report for

the triennium 1977 to 1979 states: "In drawing up its .

recommendations the Government expects that the approach -

just referred to would make provision for the continuation

of special purpose programs such as those for handicapped

children, for migrants and for disadvantaged schools."

This is the Government blue print for the next three years,

a total refutation of Mr Rootsey*s allegations.

Mr Rootsey *s reference to ' ’the already slashed capital

grants for education" can only refer to the August 1975

cuts by the Whitlam Government (a cut of $105m. in the four

education commission programs).. The Fraser Government has

made no such cuts. It has restored real money growth to

education and has reintroduced triennial funding.

The liberal Rational Country Party policy on the

Schools Commission is clearly enunciated. It states:

"We will retain the Schools Commission. We will request

the Commission to make recommendations in relation to its

primary responsibilities and our funding will be directed

towards enabling all schools to achieve recommended standards

of educational facilities". .

The implementation of our Federalism programs will involve

progressive reforms in many government functions in order

to achieve true federal state co-operation and the maximum

effective use of taxpayers' money.

It will not mean the abdication of the Commonwealth from

its sense of national responsibility for great issues such

as education. . -

It may well be that the Schools Commission and indeed other

commissions may be the subject of future reforms in order

that their function may be more effectively discharged.

There will be no emasculation.