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Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4583

Mr Whitlam asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice:

(1)   Did the Commonwealth have prior consultation with the States on the provisions of the States Grants (Teachers Colleges) Act 1967 as it did on the provisions of the States Grants (Teachers Colleges) Act 1970 (Hansard 4th November, 1971).

(2)   If so, on what date and by what means did the Commonwealth have prior consultations with the States on the 1967 Act.

Mr Malcolm Fraser (WANNON, VICTORIA) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Yes.

(2)   The Australian Education Council met in February 1966 and was attended for the first time, at the invitation of the Council, by the Minister in Charge of Commonwealth Activities in Education and Research. During the meeting, the . State Ministers put forward a proposal for Commonwealth assistance with capital expenditure on teacher training. The Commonwealth Ministers^ reaction was to invite the Council lo submit their proposal in writing together with details of the position State by State, including each State's share of the program proposed. He undertook after consideration of the additional material to discuss the Proposal with his colleagues. The information requested by the Commonwealth Minister was received on 18th May, 1966. After considering the information supplied by the States, and holding discussions with some States at the Departmental level, a detailed questionnaire was sent at the end of May, 1966, to all States with a view to obtaining an assessment of needs on a basis more comparable from State to State. The information requested was received by my Department between June and September, 1966.

After consideration of the material supplied by Slates, a further letter requesting clarification of certain points was sent to all 6 States on 30th. September, 1966. Following an examination of this information, the Minister for Education and Science had discussions with each State Minister during late January and early February, 1967. On the 28th February, 1967, all States were informed that the Commonwealth would support an unmatched capital program for teacher training and that it was proposed to bring down legislation in the autumn session of the Parliament to achieve this purpose. On the -3rd May, 1967, the States Grants (Teachers Colleges) Bill 1967 was introduced into the House of Representatives.

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