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Tuesday, 13 December 1983
Page: 3670

Senator PETER BAUME(4.33) —by leave-There are two amendments to clause 20, Nos (7) and (8), which have been circulated in my name. I move:

(7) Page 24, sub-clause 20 (5), definition of ''prescribed purpose'', paragraph (a), lines 41 and 42, leave out all words after ''non-government school''.

(8) Page 25, sub-clause 20 (5), definition of ''prescribed purpose'', paragraph (c), lines 4 and 5, leave out all words after ''non-government school''.

Very simply, the two provisions which we seek to amend are both part of the apparatus being put in place which the Opposition believes will limit the expansion of non-government schools. They impose requirements which will make it more difficult for non-government schools to expand. Two paragraphs of clause 20 (5) contain these words: 'not being a project the effect of which is, or is likely to be, to create additional places at that school'. We believe that this is part of the apparatus to restrict grants. We can see no reason why, if it is the recommendation of a planning and finance committee, and if the Minister wanted to accept that recommendation, there is any necessity for this to be written into the legislation. For reasons which we have set out on several occasions, we resist as a matter of principle the idea of limitation of the expansion of non-government schools by legislation such as this. We see it as part of an on-going attack upon non-government schools. The attempt to put restrictions upon the grants is, we believe, one of the ways in which non- government schools are being, as it were, constrained on a number of fronts. Because of that, I have moved both of the amendments and seek the support of the Committee.