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Wednesday, 9 November 1983
Page: 2488

Mr HOWARD —My question is addressed to the Prime Minister. Is it a fact that Senator Ryan announced in her education guidelines three months ago that Commonwealth capital funding would not automatically be available to new non- government schools in areas where the opening of such schools might affect enrolments in existing government schools? Is it not a fact that this restriction will apply to the expansion of the systemic system in precisely the same way as it will apply to the expansion of other schools within the non- government sector? If not, will the Prime Minister kindly tell the House why not ?

Mr HAWKE —I am aware, of course, of the statement by the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs. I can only say in answer to the question that the statement of Government policy by Senator Ryan represents the outcome of a great deal of consideration not only within this Party forming the Government but also as a result of discussions with the private education system as well as those concerned in the public education system. That policy, which has been announced and which will be followed through, represents, as I have said, the outcome of the considered opinion of the Government in consultation with all bodies concerned with education. I repeat--

Mr Howard —You have not answered the question. You are not answering the question.

Mr SPEAKER —Order! The Deputy Leader of the Opposition!

Mr HAWKE —Mr Speaker--

Mr Howard —You don't understand your own education policy.

Mr SPEAKER —Order! A certain amount of tolerance is given to the leaders of the parties on both sides of the House. I think the Deputy Leader of the Opposition is getting beyond the limit. I ask him to cease interjecting.

Mr HAWKE —The development of that policy in regard to funding for existing schools, the policy which was relevant in regard to the building and the facilitation of new schools, represents the outcome, as I have said, of discussions between the system, private and public, and our Party, and we do not in any sense depart from it. It is quite clear. I repeat what I said yesterday: It was clearly understood by the Australian electorate when we went to it on 5 March and was overwhelmingly endorsed.