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Wednesday, 21 November 1973
Page: 1994

Senator DAVIDSON (South Australia) - The key word and the word which should be emphasised in the amendment which is proposed by Senator Rae is the word 'needs'. Of course it is also the key word in the Bill which is put forward by the Government. It is important to draw the distinction between Senator Rae's proposal and the Government's clause, which states:

The needs of such schools in respect of buildings, equipment, staff and other facilities . . .

The emphasis in Senator Rae's amendment points out with great clarity and right at the beginning:

The needs of primary and secondary school students in respect of . . .

Senator Wilkinson - In respect of.

Senator DAVIDSON - I remind the honourable senator that Senator Rae has referred to the needs of students. In the Government's Bill the clause applies to the needs of schools in respect of buildings, equipment, facilities, etc. I take this opportunity to make a point because I believe that Senator Rae's amendment in this area reflects what the Minister for the Media (Senator Douglas McClelland) said during the debate on the second reading and, as he will recall, I referred to it in my speech on the second reading. The Minister placed great emphasis on what he called the quality of education. It is true that buildings, equipment, staff and other facilities make a valuable contribution towards the quality of education but I take leave to point out that when emphasis is placed on needs as the amendment points out, the needs of students in respect of these things- then the contribution made to the quality of education is much greater, more comprehensive, more easily understood and has a greater ongoing quality. That is why I think Senator Rae's amendment is very important and why it deserves to be adopted.

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