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Friday, 29 November 1985
Page: 2600

Senator TATE —Is the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs aware of the commitment by the Prime Minister, Mr Hawke, to provide sufficient funds to State governments for up to 65 per cent of teaching hours in adult migrant education to be made permanent work? Can he inform the Senate whether this offer of providing full time work has been taken up by the Tasmanian Government? Can the Minister indicate whether other State governments have welcomed this undertaking for permanent job creation in the important area of migrant education?

Senator GRIMES —Yes, I am aware, as is Senate Tate, of the commitment of the Government and the Prime Minister to provide sufficient funds so that State governments can be assisted for up to 65 per cent of the teaching hours spent in adult migrant programs. The Tasmanian Government, as Senator Tate probably well knows, has not taken up this offer. I have no idea why the Tasmanian Government has not taken up this offer for funds for permanency because it has frequently claimed to be interested in the education of all. Honourable senators should note that the same conditions apply in the other States, all of which, including Queensland and the Northern Territory, have taken up the offer of funds and have created substantial numbers of teaching positions. One can only assume that the Tasmanian Government is not interested in adult migrant education as are all the other governments of Australia, including those of the most conservative State and the most conservative Territory. I can only leave it to the Tasmanian Government to explain to the people of Tasmania, particularly the migrant community in Tasmania, why it takes this attitude.