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Wednesday, 27 November 1985
Page: 2332


Senator VALLENTINE(11.18) —I should like to ask a question following somewhat in the vein of the question asked by Senator Sir John Carrick. It seems to me that the Government is allocating money to various groups only in line with its own policies. It is a good question to ask what right the Government has to spend taxpayers' money on promoting only its own policies. There are many different views about peace in our world. The whole thrust of the International Year of Peace is an educative one. It is not only about nuclear disarmament, it is also about conflict resolution at the personal level, at the community level and at the national level. All those aspects of peace building need to be carefully considered when the Government is funding various groups.

The question I want to ask is related to the fact that the Government has made much of its budget for International Year of Peace-a budget of $3m. Of that I gather-I would like to have this confirmed-that only $185,000 will be available for community groups. Community groups around the country are being encouraged to put in submissions. Many community groups have put in many hours writing submissions to the International Year of Peace Committee. I think most of them will be disappointed because only $185,000 is available from the Commonwealth Government for the various groups.

So what is the rest of the money going towards? Is it in fact going towards dressing up a lot of foreign affairs policies and activities which should normally be going on under the auspices of the Department of Foreign Affairs but which are very conveniently being paid for out of this generous sounding allocation under the International Year of Peace budget?