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Wednesday, 24 October 1956

Mr CHANEY (Perth) .- I shall delay the House only a few minutes in order to comment on one section of this bill. I appreciate the sincerity of the honorable member for Fremantle (Mr. Beazley), but my only criticism of the proposed new allowance of £100 for education expenses is that it does not go far enough. I do not know of any State school which is also a boarding school. Most private schools are conducted by the churches, or by subsidiaries of the churches. Any one who sends a child to a boarding school will know that it costs between £300 and £400 a year. In quoting those figures I am thinking of the position in Western Australia. The cost is probably even higher in the eastern States. The majority of the parents are primary producers, who, as honorable members will agree, are not neglected when it comes to levying taxation. They are, in fact, among the highest contributors to the coffers of this Commonwealth. They have no option, if they want their children to proceed to higher education, but to send them to this type of school. If they go to a State school in a nearby area they will have to board with some one who may be quite unknown to the parent. By placing their child in a recognized boarding school, parents can solve its education problem. I should imagine that this clause is intended to assist the very people upon whom the future of this country depends - in the main the primary producers of Australia. I hope that this will not be the last time that the Government will grant an increase in the allowable deduction for education, and that the present increase will be only a small part of what will be given to the people who so richly deserve a reward for what they are doing for Australia.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

In committee:

Clauses 1 to 11 - by leave - taken together.

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