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Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4602

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

(1)   Was it stated in the 1969 Budget Speech that it was the Government's policy to assist independent schools so that they would be able to provide places for that proportion of the school population which in the past had sought education at independent schools and to develop in the future in quantity and quality more or less in line with the development of government schools.

(2)   Was it also stated in the 1970 Budget Speech that the Commonwealth continues to make a significant contribution to the expansion and improvement of Australia's education services.

(3)   If so, why has the Government not fulfilled these obligations to independent schools and what action does it intend to take to (a) increase per capita payments, (b) provide capital funds for new school buildings and (c) provide funds for teacher education.

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

(1)   No. The statement to which the honourable member refers was made by me on 13th August 1969 when I gave the House details of the then new programme of per capita grants for independent schools.

(2)   Yes.

(3)   The Government has not failed to fulfil its obligations to Australian education. I refer the honourable member to my statement to the House of 5th October 1971 about the Commonwealth's education programme and also to the Prime Minister's statement to the House today about additional capital grants for government schools and additional per capita grants towards the running costs of independent schools to operate from the beginning of 1972.

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