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Wednesday, 12 April 1972
Page: 1000

Senator MCAULIFFE (QUEENSLAND) - My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Education and Science. Is it a fact that because, of adverse weather and other environmental conditions the amount of time unsuitable for outdoor physical education programmes in State high schools is, in no State, less than 25 per cent of the school year? Is it also a fact that 75 per cent of State high schools do not have gymnasiums or suitable indoor facilities for physical education activities? Will the Minister inform the Senate what steps, if any, the Government proposes to take to make these indoor facilities available so that physical education programmes in our schools will be more effective in that they will be continuous, varied and balanced and not dependent on weather conditions?

Senator WRIGHT - I do not have the information available to say to what extent environmental or weather conditions preclude outdoor recreational activities in schools. With regard to the question about the provision of gymnasiums, the priorities for the development of any particular educational facility must be recognised to be a matter of State responsibility. In that regard I remind the Senate that over the last 10 years State expenditure on education annually has increased from $401m to $l,284m this year. As to whether the Minister will take any steps in this sphere to make available physical education programmes, I remind the honourable senator that, a few weeks ago, I think he asked a similar question of my colleague the Minister for Health. I understand that that question is receiving attention.

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