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Thursday, 4 October 1984
Page: 1294

Senator REID(10.30) —The conference to mark the end of the Decade for Women is to be held in Nairobi from 8 to 26 July 1985. The first part of the period is to be taken up with a forum for non-government organisations. The latter part will be taken up by the formal conference. It is an important event. The mid-decade Forum for Women was held in Copenhagen in 1980. The then Liberal Government invited 21 women from non-government organisations around Australia to become a representative group to attend. It provided funding, with some women receiving half and some two-thirds of the fare to Copenhagen.

A number of organisations presently wonder whether they may similarly be able to send representatives to the final conference. They need to know the position as they need to be able to make plans. I understand that block bookings are being planned for this month. International non-government organisations in this country should be able to nominate delegates to attend both the forum and the formal conference, but they need to know the Government's plans. I ask whether the Government has made any decision about funding non-government organisations from Australia to attend the conference. If the Government will make funding available, to what extent will it do so and when will that fact be known? The organisations concerned and I would like to know the answer. I hope that tomorrow I will get an answer from the relevant Minister; if not tomorrow, perhaps at the latest early next week, because this is a crucial month in the planning process.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Senate adjourned at 10.32 p.m.