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Wednesday, 6 June 1984
Page: 2712

(Question No. 485)

Senator Reynolds asked the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, upon notice, on 8 November 1983:

(1) What level of funding is available for the Commonwealth Schools Commission country area program during the 1983-84 financial year.

(2) What amount of funding from that program will be made available to Queensland for the priority country area program.

(3) Are there any anticipated changes to the program for future years, especially with regard to funding levels.

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

The Government makes funds available to Commonwealth Schools Commission programs on the basis of calendar years, not financial years. The following information relates to funds made available to the country areas program in the calendar years 1983 and 1984.

(1) (a) In 1983 an amount of $9,377,000 was initially allocated to the country areas program. In December 1983 this allocation was adjusted to take account of cost increases in salaries and wages which had occurred during the year. The initial allocation was supplemented by $94,000 making a total of $9,471,000 available to the program in 1983.

(b) The program has been allocated $9,714,000 for 1984. This allocation will also be adjusted retrospectively.

(2) (a) The Queensland priority country area program was allocated $2,256,000 for 1983. This was supplemented by $22,000 making a total of $2,278,000 available to Queensland in 1983.

(b) An amount of $2,354,000 has been allocated to the Queensland priority country area program in 1984. This allocation will be adjusted retrospectively.

(3) The Government's education guidelines for 1984 directed the Schools Commission to review the full range of Commonwealth specific purpose programs to ensure that the Government's objectives and priorities were being met. The Commission is to provide a full report on the operation and needs of the country areas program in its next Triennial report, due early in 1985.