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Thursday, 31 October 1974
Page: 2191

Senator MELZER - I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Education. Has the Minister's attention been drawn to reports that the Lord Mayor of Melbourne will lead a deputation to the State Minister for Health protesting about the State Government's threat to withdraw the $100,000 subsidy to 2 proposed council pre-school centres if the Melbourne City Council accepts Federal Government building funds? Can the Minister advise how widespread is this obstructive attitude of the Victorian Government? What action can the Federal Government take to counter such destructive actions?

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) -My attention was drawn to the report and because I represent in the Senate the Minister for Education in another place I sought the views of his office and his Department on the matter. I am told by my colleague that a new Australian Government program is being developed in the area of children's services and that the whole facet of Federal-State subsidies will have to be re-assessed and new guidelines established. Consultations are at present under way with the Victorian Government and hopefully situations of the kind mentioned by the honourable senator will be overcome so that no hardships will be felt by local councils developing programs.

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