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Wednesday, 22 August 1973
Page: 197

Dr GUN (KINGSTON, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I address my question, which concerns Commonwealth expenditure on preschools, to the Minister for Education. When will the administrative structure be set up in the States to assess the priorities for pre-school expenditure? Will the Minister give an assurance that there will be adequate opportunity for submissions to be made in time for the appropriate allocation of expenditure for the 1974 school year?

Mr BEAZLEY - As I understand the position, submissions are now being made to the Pre-Schools Commission. The States are setting up their own administrative structures. It should be remembered that the recommendations of the Commission will be implemented in the form of grants to the States under section 96 of the Constitution. For instance, I understand that the South Australian Government has a complete organisation to deal with this matter. When applications come from private pre-school authorities, I imagine the decision will be made by the Pre-Schools Commission but the grants probably will be made to the States for passing on to the private authorities; or it may be more convenient to use the Commonwealth Department of Education branches in the States. I am not sure of that. We have taken steps in the Budget, as the honourable gentleman will have noted, to make sure that money is available immediately. We still await the recommendations of the PreSchools Commission as to administrative procedures and actual sums of money. I believe that those recommendations will come in good time for action to be taken next year.

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