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Wednesday, 5 December 1973
Page: 4287

Mr SPEAKER -Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.

Mr LYNCH - As the Minister for Tourism and Recreation (Mr Stewart) has mentioned, the document he has tabled should make a significant contribution to developing the most appropriate training program for recreation workers in this country. The Opposition parties welcome the report and, in so doing, congratulate the Minister for the initiative he has taken in commissioning the report by Mr Hamilton-Smith. The question of leisure time is one which has been subject to widespread debate in many countries. It is probably true to say, with regret, that the debate has taken place more vociferously in other countries. I think specifically of the United States of America. The document which has been brought down will certainly assist in remedying the absence of an informed public debate and the development of an informed public opinion in this country.

The trend toward greater periods of leisure time obviously calls for Government involvement. As the report points out, the satisfactory development of recreation in Australia is in so many aspects dependent upon the education of recreation workers. The report makes a number of very useful recommendations for the education, firstly, of professional recreation workers and, secondly, of volunteer recreation workers, and stresses the importance of interdisciplinary communication between persons in the recreation area and those in other specialised fields. The Minister, in closing his comments, indicated that his Government is firmly committed to facing the issues involved in planning opportunities for a more creative use of leisure time in this country. That ideal and that commitment are certainly shared by the Opposition parties. I believe the report provides a sound basis for policy development. We on this side of the House look forward to the presentation by the Minister of a number of initiatives in this particular area. We congratulate the Minister. It is a very helpful report and I believe it augurs well for what he may foreshadow in the future.

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