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Tuesday, 10 September 1985
Page: 326

Senator MACKLIN —My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Trade and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Youth Affairs. Was it not the case that the National Clearing House for Youth Studies was established in 1981 because of an increasing concern over the growing level of youth unemployment? Is the Minister aware that, due to the halving of the participation and equity program funding, the National Clearing House has announced that it will no longer be able to continue its vital publication role in this area? Is it not just as essential now as it was in 1981 for the National Clearing House for Youth Studies to continue this invaluable work as it is, in fact, the only source in Australia of detailed information with regard to youth, particularly considering that this is International Youth Year?

Senator RYAN —I am familiar with the project to which Senator Macklin's question referred. I think it is a project which has been quite useful. It was a clearing house for curriculum studies relating to changes in secondary education to keep more young people in the system and to prepare them better for the work force. I understand that the reason for the finishing of that project had nothing to do with the Government's decision to stretch the PEP funds over two years but, rather, was a decision of the Australian National University, which had been host of this project, not to continue it. I have been pursuing the matter but I understand that the ANU, which of course is an autonomous institution, no longer wishes to be involved in this project. I should add that I have raised with my Department the possibility of the Department taking over the clearing house functions. When that is sorted out, I will certainly make sure that Senator Macklin hears about it.