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Wednesday, 11 September 1985
Page: 454

Senator TEAGUE —My question is directed to the Minister representing the Prime Minister and the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Youth Affairs. Has the Prime Minister totally withdrawn Commonwealth financial support for the Ausflag '88 campaign to involve children in schools in a new flag competition? The postage bill for this campaign is being paid from grants given through the Prime Minister's Office of Youth Affairs. How is it that the Prime Minister is involved in the injection of political controversy into Australian schools, against the wishes of most schools and most parents-an intolerable situation? Indeed, how is it that the decision was made to fund Ausflag '88 at all? Finally, does it take the decision of the third State government-first the governments of Queensland and Tasmania and now the Labor Government of Western Australia announced yesterday by the Western Australian Minister for Education, Mr Pearce, to ban this campaign from schools, to induce the Prime Minister to withdraw the Commonwealth's support?

Senator BUTTON —I am not fully familiar with the facts relating to the alleged funding or otherwise of postage for Ausflag. I have sent it a bit of money myself, but that is a very personal preference. I will deal with the other issues, the rhetorical issues, in the context of answering the question about the facts as soon as possible.