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Monday, 3 November 2003
Page: 21894

Mr Martin Ferguson asked the Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 16 September 2003:

(1) What was the cost of producing and distributing the interactive multimedia resource kit Defence 2020, how many packs were distributed and to what organisations other than schools was the pack distributed.

(2) When did the Government's Defence 2020 program commence, when will it expire and how much money has been allocated to the program.

(3) At which locations were the 14 Youth Challenges held as part of the Defence 2020 program, how were the locations selected, how many people participated and how were the participants selected.

Mr Brough (Minister for Employment Services and Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence) —The answer to the honorable member's question is as follows:

(1) $685,000. A total of 3,100 Defence 2020 packs were distributed to secondary schools. A further 225 packs were sent to key stakeholders in the program including state and territory education departments; teachers' unions, returned service organisations, and guests and media attending the associated regional “Youth Challenge” events. Defence distributed 275 packs to Senators and Members of Parliament.

(2) The Defence 2020 Education Resource Program was commissioned in March 2002. The education resource kit was distributed to secondary schools in June-July 2003.

The Youth Challenge component of the program commenced in May 2003 and will conclude with a National Forum in Canberra on 29 October 2003. The associated website will be maintained until approximately June 2004. The total budget for the Defence 2020 program is $1.3 million.

(3) Adelaide, Bendigo, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Geelong, Hobart, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth, Sydney and Townsville.

The locations were selected on the basis of past experience with similar programs, the availability of suitable venues, the proximity to Defence bases and the requirement to ensure a balance between regional and metropolitan areas.

A total of 1,070 students and 156 teachers from 169 schools attended the Youth Challenges. All Australian secondary schools were invited to attend the events. The students were selected by the participating schools. Schools were advised initially that year nine to eleven students would benefit most from the course curriculum.