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Tuesday, 10 October 1972
Page: 1379

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES)

My question, which is directed to Senator Davidson in his capacity as Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Education, Science and the Arts, relates to a question asked of him earlier by Senator Byrne. In view of his answer to Senator Byrne's question, I ask: Does his Committee intend completing its present inquiry into all aspects of radio and television before it embarks upon an inquiry into the problems confronting isolated children and their parents? If not, does it intend conducting the 2 hearings simultaneously? If the Committee intends completing its inquiry into all aspects of radio and television in the first instance, can Senator Davidson give some indication of when the Committee is likely to commence taking evidence on the problems confronting isolated children and their parents?

The PRESIDENT - I call on Senator Davidson to answer the question on behalf of the Committee.

Senator DAVIDSON - Senator DouglasMcClelland will recall that I indicated earlier today that the inquiry into the education of children in isolated areas would take place as soon as parliamentary circumstances allowed. I want to say the Committee does not propose to conclude its inquiry into all aspects of broadcasting and television before embarking on the reference relating to isolated children. Senator Douglas McClelland will be aware that the reference concerning all aspects of broadcasting and television is a very comprehensive one and that the Committee will take some time to conclude the inquiry. It is a reference of a very detailed and diverse nature. Because the nature of the reference concerning isolated children is, by contrast, one which, while having a wide range of interests and inferences, is capable of receiving attention much sooner than the prevous reference, it is therefore proposed that the 2 references proceed concurrently. I repeat my earlier statement that submissions have been invited and some have been received. As soon as circumstances will allow the Committee will undertake the first steps of its inquiry into the reference put to it by the Senate relating to isolated children.

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