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Tuesday, 29 May 1984
Page: 2103

(Question No. 806)

Senator Reynolds asked the Minister for Social Security, upon notice, on 4 April 1984:

What are the current priorities with regard to the funding of vacation care programs; particularly the State and Federal responsibilities in this regard with special reference to the Queensland Government's commitment?

Senator Grimes —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

Vacation care is an important element of the children's services program.

The Commonwealth provides grants to the States and Territories and each State and Territory determines priorities and which projects are funded in consultation with my department. In general, priority should be accorded to services which cater for children in high need areas or children with special needs, such as Aboriginal, disabled or ethnic groups.

In total, $2.331m has been made available to the States this financial year, an increase of $637,250 over the allocation last year.

State governments vary in their contribution to the vacation care program. Some States contribute nothing, as in the case of Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. On the other hand, New South Wales almost matches the Commonwealth level of grant. The other States make small contributions.