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Monday, 16 September 1985
Page: 573


Senator WALTERS(5.17) —I join with the comments made by Senator Tate. I could not agree with him more when he says that what the Institute of Family Studies needs is an independent group to reassess its value. The Institute has been going now for five years. This may be regarded as an appropriate landmark for us to judge how well it has performed as an organisation. I believe that every organisation from time to time needs not a review but a full evaluation. Like Senator Tate, I do not believe that can be done by people who have an axe to grind and who have some reason for coming to certain conclusions.

I believe that the Institute should have a true evaluation. An independent body should have a look at what the Institute has done. We have a very clear situation where we have set out the roles and functions of the Institute, so there is a very clear description of what it should be doing and what it has come up with. If the review panel makes the decisions that it has not carried out the role and functions which are stipulated in the Institute's annual report, there would be every reason for the Government to cut funding and perhaps get rid of the body altogether. If the independent body makes the decision that it has given some very valuable service and advice to the Government-I am certainly not sure that it has given a lot of valuable advice to the Government; the Government will be able to let us know about that-the Government should be funding it in a correct fashion so that it can carry on its role. I believe that not just a review of the Institute is needed. A true evaluation should be carried out by an outside body that would lay to rest for all time whether the Government considers that its funding should or should not be cut.

Question resolved in the affirmative.