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Wednesday, 9 October 1991
Page: 1548

Mr CHARLES —-I do.

Mr ACTING SPEAKER —-He may proceed.

Mr CHARLES —-During Question Time today, in an irrelevant and rather longwinded answer to a dorothy dixer, the Minister for Higher Education and Employment Services (Mr Baldwin) said that except for the member for La Trobe, the Opposition had nothing to say about Austudy. That in itself is not true, but he further compounded the problem by saying that I had proposed that we abolish all classes of student financial assistance for secondary students and, further, that we convert any balance of student financial assistance funding to student loans.

Mr Acting Speaker, that is not true. What in fact I have canvassed, in the context of providing more access to students in order to allow some equity back into the higher education system, is that we discontinue Austudy itself only for secondary students; that we more tightly target Austudy to those tertiary students who are mostly in need; that we encourage, increasingly, student scholarships; that we consider some tax relief for those parents who are willing and able to support their children at tertiary institutions; and that we then consider--

Mr ACTING SPEAKER —-The honourable member for La Trobe is actually taxing the patience of the Chair. He is now adding new material and not correcting the record.

Mr CHARLES —-Mr Acting Speaker, with respect, I am trying to bring to the attention of the House that what I did say was wrongly represented by the Minister for Higher Education and Employment Services. The last point was simply that we consider a broad based, interest free, student loan scheme. I say to the Minister that if he is so interested in what the member for La Trobe has to say--

Mr ACTING SPEAKER —-The honourable member for La Trobe is now proceeding beyond the bounds of the personal explanation.