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Wednesday, 27 November 1985
Page: 2333

Senator GRIMES (Minister for Community Services)(11.25) —I am sorry; I realise that I did not give a response to the detail of what Senator Sir John Carrick was saying. Again, this is a matter for judgment. I respect Senator Sir John Carrick's right and capacity to say that that proportion is wrong. I have heard the same thing said before. I am sure that I said the same thing when I complained about the amount of money going to government programs during the International Year of the Child. I complained particularly about the amount going on publicity and advertising, saying that the ones who would benefit most were the advertising agencies and the poster designers. It was the same for the International Year of Disabled Persons. There was a complaint that too much money was directed to governments, Federal and State. Senator Sir John Carrick is saying the same thing now.

I do not quite get his point when he asks what right has the Government to spend taxpayers' money on promoting its own programs. We could have a long debate about some of the advertisements that went on television after the Budgets in Senator Sir John Carrick's time as Leader of the Government in the Senate but I do not think that that would achieve much. The Government has every right to promote its own programs in the International Year of Peace, as it has in any other year. Whether the proportions of funds spent are right is a matter for judgment. It is inevitable that people in the Opposition will say that the Government is spending too much money on its own programs; it is inevitable that the Government will defend its actions, and that is what I have been doing.