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Tuesday, 14 October 1975
Page: 2032

Mrs CHILD (HENTY, VICTORIA) - Has the Minister for Education seen recent criticisms of the amount of money to be made available for Victorian Government schools in the calendar year 1976? Is it valid to refer to $9.2m capital being available for the first 6 months of 1976? What is the share, capital and recurrent, for Victorian Government schools from the $465.2m to be made available by the Australian Government in the year 1976? What was the Victorian State schools' share of the $784m, capital and recurrent, available from the Australian Government for Australian schools in the 2 years 1974 and 1975?

Mr BEAZLEY (FREMANTLE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Education) -The persistent line of discussion of the Victorian Minister for Education is to suggest that if a report is made to this Parliament, as was the Schools Commission report, he is entitled to receive all of the money referred to in the report as assigned to Victoria and that there is some compulsion on the Australian Parliament to adopt the report. The only expenditures that Mr Thompson was entitled to assume he could make out of Federal grants were from the funds for the biennium recommended by Professor Karmel and enacted by this Parliament. Of the $784m the Victorian State schools received $81m in capital and $69m in recurrent funds. His reference to $9.2m being made available in the first 6 months of this coming year seems to me to be a kind of mystic suggestion. In the cash flow of funds the initial payments for capital will usually be about one-third of the final amount. In point of fact, Victorian State schools will be receiving $29,250,000 in the calendar year 1976. In addition recurrent funds for Victorian State schools will be about $56m, making $85m in all. In this present calendar year and the last calendar year, therefore, Victoria received $ 1 50m for State schools and in the coming year it will receive $85m.

I am completely at a loss to know how an responsible Minister of the Crown can somehow or other call a grant additional to the expenditure of the State a cut. What the Victorian Minister means is that he expected to get more if the Federal Parliament had adopted in its full force the report of the Schools Commission. What he is getting is an addition to the State's effort. He is getting something in the vicinity of $235m over 3 years for his State schools as an addition to the State's effort. His comments on this as a cut is an example of skilful misrepresentation to the electorate and to the public of Victoria.

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