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Tuesday, 8 November 1977
Page: 3145

Mr E G Whitlam (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) am asked the Minister representing the Minister for Education, upon notice, on 23 August 1977:

(1)   In which of the cases where schools were closed or amalgamated in 1974, 1975 and 1976 was the Government consulted before the school authorities sold or otherwise disposed of the facilities for which the Government grants had been made (Hansard, 16 August 1977, page 260).

(2)   In which of those cases have the school authorities been required, or will they be required, to reimburse the Government, and what reimbursement has been, or will be, required in each case.

Mr Viner - The Minister for Education has provided the following reply to the honourable member's question:

(1)   and (2) In most cases, the government has not been consulted before the school authorities concerned sold or otherwise disposed of facilities. The Schools Commission has been advised, however, of what has happened to facilities and equipment in the case of the following schools:

New South Wales

Mt St Mary's School, Katoomba, is now used for field excursion accommodation under the Disadvantaged Schools Program. Its library bookstock has been distributed amongst other Catholic schools in the area.

SCEGGS Moss Vale is currently on the market but has not yet been sold. The Schools Commission is consulting with the school authority so as to determine whether the circumstances warrant a recovery of grants paid. The school's equipment has been distributed amongst other SCEGGS and other schools in the Moss Vale area.

SCEGGS Wollongong, is presently for sale. The Illawarra Grammar School will be using the school until 1 5 December 1977. As in the case of SCEGGS, Moss Vale, consultations are taking place with the school authority. Equipment has either been transferred or bought by the Illawarra Grammar School.

St Vincent's School, Redfern, is now being used as the Aboriginal Medical Centre which is being funded by the Department of Aboriginal Affairs. Library bookstock has been transferred to other Catholic schools in the Archdiocese.

Holy Name Primary School, Urunga, is now used as a community centre. Library bookstock has been distributed amongst other Catholic schools.

St Clement's College, Galong, is now a Catholic education conference centre. Library bookstock has been distributed amongst other Catholic schools in the area.

St Joseph's School, Bungendore, is being used by the New South Wales Department of Technical Education for temporary accommodation. Library bookstock has been distributed amongst other Catholic schools in the area.

St Joseph's School, Camperdown, has transferred its library bookstock to other Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Sydney. The school is now a child care centre.

St Mary's School, Adaminaby, has been taken over by the New South Wales Department of Education for senior primary school accommodation. The library bookstock has been transferred to St Patrick's, Cooma.

St Mary's School, Inverell, operated partly in a church. This part has reverted to the church and the remainder is used as a teachers' centre. The library bookstock was transferred to the Holy Trinity School, Inverell.

St Thomas's School, Goolagong library bookstock transferred to St Joseph 's School, Grenfell

Argyle School, Goulburn, was purchased by the New South Wales Department of Technical Education. The school is still being used for educational purposes.

Trinity Memorial Grammar School, Orange, was operated as both a pre-school and junior infants school. The preschool still operates and the junior infants school children transferred to Kinross- Wolaroi College, Orange. The appropriate bookstock has remained at the pre-school and the remainder has been transferred to Kinross- Wolaroi.


Mount Carmel College, Rutherglen, is now St Mary's Primary School. The science room built with the aid of the Commonwealth Government grant has been refurbished to provide a preparatory grade classroom and staff facilities.

St Euphrasia 's Secondary School, Abbotsford, has been taken over by the Victorian Education Department Bookstock has been distributed amongst those schools to which children of St Euphrasia 's have now been sent

St John's School, Hawthorn, is now operated as a coeducational primary school.


Mater Dei Secondary School, Toowoomba, is now Mater Dei Primary School. The former science room is being used as a classroom; science equipment was transferred to other schools in the area.

Sacred Heart College, Booval, is now operated as St Peter Claver Primary School.

St Ursula 's College, Dutton Park, is now used as a teacher training college by the Queensland Catholic Education Commission.

South Australia

St Francis Xavier School, Whyalla, has combined with St John's Primary School, and is on a new site. All equipment and bookstock have been transferred to the new school.

St Columba's School, Yorktown, has reopened after requests from parents.

Western Australia

Koobeelya CEGGS Katanning, has become part of Penrhos College, Como.

Our Lady of Victories School, Wembley, has amalgamated with St Joseph's School. Both sites are still used even though the schools operate under the one board and principal.

Presentation School, Corrigin, and St Patrick's School, West Perth, have closed and their bookstock has been distributed by the Western Australian Catholic Education Office to those Catholic schools which were high on the priority list for bookstock upgrading, resulting in smaller grants being needed in the future to bring these schools to acceptable bookstock levels.

New South Wales (amalgamation)

St Ursula's College, Armidale, has amalgamated with De La Salle College and equipment and bookstock has been transferred.

All these schools received grants under legislation enacted prior to 1 976. That legislation did not contain provisions that enabled a condition to be imposed on a grantee school that facilities provided with the assistance of grant moneys must not be sold or otherwise disposed of without prior consultation with the Commonwealth Government. From 1974 the grant offer sought to impose this condition. However, advice received from the Attorney-General's Department in 1975 was that a condition imposed in this way did not enable the Government to recover moneys. Legislation was accordingly enacted during 1976 which included a provision that payment of grant moneys will not be made by the State unless the school agrees with the State to be bound by conditions specified in the approval of the project by the Minister. The condition referred to earlier has applied to grants made under this legislation and has been made more explicit in the legislation for grants in 1978 now before the Parliament.

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