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Wednesday, 3 June 1970

Mr McLEAY (Boothby) - There were very many inaccuracies in the speech made by the honourable member for Gellibrand (Mr McIvor) on this Bill. Unfortunately I do not have the time to deal with all of them but perhaps I might mention the one with which he commenced his speech. In referring to the second read- ing speech of the Minister for Social Services (Mr Wentworth) the honourable member said that voluntary bodies arc trying to help the State governments to discharge their obligations. I think that this is an unfortunate criticism of the voluntary system as we know it. I inform the honour-, able member that many of these organisations arc established only on the initiative of people, not governments, and exist only through the work of volunteers. There is such an organisation in South Australia which I will deal with in a moment. That organisation has been in operation for nearly 70 years and for 50 of those years it received no government support whatsoever. The honourable member for Gellibrand mentioned a whole series of activities that he felt should be covered in this type of legislation. He said that free medicines should be supplied, that salaries should be paid, that kindergartens, creches, and schools should be paid for, that there should be special teacher courses and that more teachers should be made available. The position is that this Bill does not attempt to cover all of those situations and in any case they are the responsibility of the State governments. The Commonwealth Government does not wish to intrude unnecessarily into the fields of education and health. 1 feel that ] must take the honourable member to task on one point on which he was completely inaccurate. He said that there was no provision made in this Bill for spastics, autistics or the blind. In fact he said that the Bill will do nothing for them, and that statement is patently untrue. On the very first page of the second reading speech of the Minister those disabilities are referred to, and in any case the Bill provides that 'handicapped children' includes physically handicapped or mentally handicapped.

Mr McIVOR (GELLIBRAND, VICTORIA) - Where are they included?

Mr McLEAY - It says handicapped children, physically or mentally. If someone has an autistic child-

Mr McIVOR (GELLIBRAND, VICTORIA) - This is for capital grants.

Mr McLEAY - Of course it is. We are not dealing with all the other big brother requirements that you want.

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