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Tuesday, 5 November 1996
Page: 5112

Senator COONEY(6.54 p.m.) —I move:

That the Senate take note of the document.

This report deals with the financial payments made by the Commonwealth to the primary and secondary education systems in this country. It shows that the Commonwealth gives support to both state and private schools right across Australia. This report deals with a period when the previous government, the Keating government, was in power. It shows the wide range of support given to many schools right across the board. I would invite honourable senators to look at this report. For example, on page 55 it lists the secondary schools from New South Wales and then, if you go over the page, it lists the number of schools in Victoria that were given assistance—both state and non-government schools.

It is important that this government—by `this government', I mean the federal government as distinct from the state and territory governments—continues to give support on a very generous basis for the education of the children of this country. This country either goes ahead in great bounds or goes backwards, depending on the state of the education that we give the children who are under our care.

There are other senators who may want to speak upon this, because it is a very important topic. It is a matter that is debated again and again in this chamber and in this parliament. Unless we keep debating it and come to realise that the expenditure of money on education is one of the core responsibilities of this government, then the future of the country will be less rosy than it will otherwise be. Question resolved in the affirmative.