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Friday, 15 June 1984
Page: 3220

(Question No. 791)

Senator Macklin asked the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, upon notice , on 3 April 1984:

(1) What plans does the Government have with reference to adult literacy, to provide assistance to the 10 per cent of the Australian population which research findings indicate is either illiterate or minimally literate.

(2) What financial resources are currently provided on a State by State breakdown.

(3) Is there a representative committee in each State which advises on allocation within that State.

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

(1) In the funding guidelines to the Commonwealth Education Commissions for 1984, the Government asked the Technical and Further Education Council of the Commonwealth Tertiary Education Commission (CTEC), in the context of the triennial report for 1985-87, 'to consult with the States and other relevant authorities and provide a report and recommendations for a joint Commonwealth- State campaign to combat adult illiteracy'. The report of the Council is contained in volume 1 of the Commission's report for the 1985-87 triennium which is currently under consideration by the Government. Following detailed consideration of the advice contained in that report I will be in a position to comment further on possible government initiatives to combat this serious problem.

(2) Funds are allocated to adult literacy from a variety of Commonwealth and State government courses, and I am advised by the CTEC that it does not compile information to identify total funds allocated to this purpose. The TAFE Council has estimated that about $500,000 of Commonwealth grants to State TAFE authorities which it administers are provided for adult literacy and associated purposes. A detailed break down of this estimate on a State by State basis is not available.

(3) There is a representative committee in each State which advises on the use of TAFE Council funds for non-government adult education. The allocation of Government funds is a matter for decision by the respective State TAFE authorities. However, there are no representative committees which advise specifically on the allocation of funds to adult literacy programs.