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Tuesday, 27 November 1973
Page: 3972


Mr Bennett asked the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice:

(1)   With reference to the recent strong protests by world and Australian Trade Unions and prominent citizens to Spanish authorities over the gaoling of Spanish trade union officials and the alleged torture of prominent Spanish citizens imprisoned for suspected political activity, can the Minister say whether these protests have brought about any change in the treatment and trial of trade unionists and political activists in Spain.

(2)   What is the attitude of the Australian Government in the described circumstances, and were any official protests lodged.

(3)   Is political asylum available in Australia for people persecuted in this manner.


Mr Whitlam - The Minister for Foreign Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1)   It is not possible to know definitely whether the international protests which have been voiced against the gaoling of Spanish trade union officials and other political activists have had any significant effect.

(2)   The Australian Government has not made any formal protest to the Spanish Government concerning these matters, but its strong opposition to any deprivation of basic human rights and fundamental freedoms is well known. The honourable member may be aware that trade union activitities in Spain have been of concern to the ILO over the years and that Australia has followed these matters closely whenever they have been considered. In addition, Australia has this year ratified ILO Convention No. 87 concerning the right of workers to associate freely. Spain has not ratified this convention.

(3)   Any application for political asylum in Australia would be considered on its individual merits.

Postmaster-General's 'Department: Interdepartmental Committees (Question No. 1969)


Mr Snedden asked the Postmaster-General, upon notice:

Following his answer to question No. 1089 and in the light of the Prime Minister's guarantee in the House of 7 November 1973 that the information will be made available, will he provide a list of the interdepartmental committees established since 2 December 1972 of which officers of his Department are members.


Mr Lionel Bowen (KINGSFORD-SMITH, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows:

Question No. 1089 was answered prior to the further question asked by the right honourable gentleman on the 7th instant. I again refer the right honourable gentleman to that answer and in particular to standing order No. 142.

I invite the right honourable gentleman to indicate the nature of the matter or matters about which he is seeking information in respect of committees with which my Department is associated. When that information is received then an answer can be obtained.

Department of the Environment and Conservation: Interdepartmental Committees (Question No. 1371)


Mr Snedden asked the Minister for the Environment and Conservation, upon notice:

Following his answer to question No. 1091 and in the light of the Prime Mininter's guarantee in the House on 7 November 1973 that the information would be made available, will he provide a list of the interdepartmental committees established since 2 December 1972 of which officers of his Department are members.


Dr Cass - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

I refer the right honourable gentleman to the answer I gave to question No. 1316.

Pre-school Centres (Question No. 891)


Mr Snedden asked the Minister for Education, upon notice:

(1)   What percentage of eligible children attend preschool centres in (a) the Australian Capital Territory and (b) the Northern Territory.

(2)   What is the average annual cost per child in these centres, excluding Government subsidy.

(3)   How many centres are there in each Territory.

(4)   How many children are there in each of these centres.


Mr Lionel Bowen (KINGSFORD-SMITH, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   (a) A survey of children newly-enrolled in primary schools in the Australian Capital Territory in 1972 indicated that 84 per cent of these children had attended pre-school within the twelve months prior to their enrolment in primary school.

(b)   The results of the latest population count for the Northern Territory for specific ages are not yet available. Total enrolments at pre-school centres in the Northern Territory as at July 1973 represented approximately 52 per cent of the estimated number of 3 and 4 year old children.

(2)   In the Australian Capital Territory, each Parent Association accepts specific responsibilities in the preschool system and, in providing educational equipment, fruit, and funds for cleaning of the school, approximately $35 per child per annum is spent. In order to meet this cost fees are charged for term attendance. The average fee charged for a half-day session is 25 cents.

In the Northern Territory, pre-schools in Aboriginal communities are fully subsidised by the Government. The Parent Committees of other Northern Territory pre-schools, in providing for cleaning, new equipment, insurance, petty cash and general supplies, spend approximately $50 per child per annum. To offset this expenditure a fee of approximately 20 cents per halfday session is charged.

(3)   There are 60 pre-schools in the A.C.T., two of which are located at Jervis Bay and Wreck Bay; 11 schools are double units. There are 64 pre-schools in the Northern Territory; 3 schools are double units.

(4)   The numbers of children enrolled in each of these centres are shown in the following lists:

 

 

 







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