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Thursday, 24 August 1972
Page: 456

Senator WRIGHT (Tasmania) (Minister for Works) - I am obliged for the intervention of my colleague Senator Davidson because, with his intimate knowledge of this subject as Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Education, Science and the Arts which investigated the subject of teacher education, his contribution relieves me of the obligation of saying much that I had intended to say. Suffice for me just to underline the brief sentence which, I hope, will penetrate the members of the Opposition. It is that with the concurrence of State ministers for education the Federal Minister for Education and Science (Mr Malcolm Fraser) has agreed to bring within the scope of advanced colleges of education not only teacher training institutions but also pre-school training institutions. Having regard to the fact that that accords with the advice given by the Senate Standing Committee and the fact that the Government acepts all that, how discordant it must be to any honourable senator who understands the theme of events to find an amendment coming from Senator Wheeldon that we should establish a separate preschool commission.

In the few brief moments that have been devoted to the debate I could not help but remind myself how appropriate it was that this amendment dealing with kindergartens should have been initiated by Senator Wheeldon. He inevitably revealed to me one thing and one thing only: That he was unable to rid himself of the itch that comes from commissionitis.

Question put:

That the words proposed to be added (Senator Wheeldon's amendment) be added.

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