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Wednesday, 16 August 1972
Page: 297

Mr Kennedy asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice:

(1)   Is it anticipated that by the time the Commonwealth Secondary Facilities Scheme is scheduled to terminate in 1975 every (a) Government, (b) Catholic and (c) non-Catholic private secondary school in Australia will have secondary science laboratories and associated accommodation and equipment at the standards which the Commonwealth accepts for private schools.

(2)   If not, what (a) number and (b) percentage of these schools is expected to have facilities of standards accepted by the Commonwealth.

(3)   How many new science laboratory rooms have been erected in (a) Government, (b) Catholic and (c) other private schools under the Commonwealth Secondary Science Facilities Scheme up to the latest date for which figures are readily available.

Mr Malcolm Fraser (WANNON, VICTORIA) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   and (2) The sum of $43,295m appropriated under the States Grants (Science Laboratories) Act 1971, was determined in the light of the best information available at the time, and on the assumption that the States would continue to devote the same proportion of their funds to the provision of science facilities in their own schools as they had in recent years. It was our best estimate of what was needed to meet science teaching requirements of government and nongovernment secondary schools as they existed at 30th June 1971. Developments which have since occurred necessarily mean that not all government and non-government secondary schools in Australia will have, by mid-1975, science teaching facilities sufficient to meet their needs at that (fate at the standards which the Commonwealth accepts as desirable. It is in acknowledgement of this fact that the annual rate of the capital grants announced by the Prime Minister on 11th May will increase substantially in the three final years of the five year period beginning on 1st July 1973.

(3)   The number of science laboratories which have been built in the period 1st July 1964 to 30th June 1971 with funds provided under the Commonwealth Science Facilities Programme is shown below. The figures given for non-government schools include some laboratory rooms which have been converted from other school usage to laboratories and also some laboratories which were constructed before the commencement of the Programme and have since been converted to bring them to recommended standards.

Commonwealth Science Facilities Programme Laboratories Constructed from Commonwealth Funds- 1.7.64 to 30.6.71:


The honourable member may be interested to know that a total of 758 science teaching rooms were constructed in government secondary schools by the States in the same period, from the States' own resources.

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