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Tuesday, 9 October 1984
Page: 1980

(Question No. 1610)

Mr Hunt asked the Minister representing the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, upon notice, on 21 August 1984:

Is it a fact that requirements to make impact studies restrict the right of parents to choose the type of education they want for their children.

Mr Dawkins —The Minister for Education and Youth Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

In the 'Guidelines to the Schools Commission' on 14 August 1984, the Government announced its intention to institute new arrangements for the planning and development of new non-government schools. The Government acknowledges that some parents may choose-for educational, religious, cultural or other reasons-non- government schooling for their children. The Commonwealth accepts its responsibility to co-operate with government and non-government education authorities to ensure a satisfactory standard of education for students in non- government schools. In determining the level of its funding of non-government schools, the Commonwealth will take account of schools' educational needs, the efficient use of available resources and the complementary rights of parents who choose public education for their children.

The fundamental objective is to ensure that the development of new non- government schools takes place in an orderly fashion, maximising the possibilities of efficient use of resources, and minimising the duplication of places and destabilisation of existing schools. Changes in policy will be implemented in consultation with non-government school and State authorities.