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Tuesday, 10 December 1974
Page: 3298

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN -(Senator Lawrie) - Senator McLaren,would you address your remarks to the Chair, please.

Senator McLAREN - I am doing that; I am just looking in Senator Hall's direction. I want to put on record the wonderful job that Mr Ron Loveday did as Minister for Education in South Australia. He has been followed by Mr Hugh Hudson who is now doing a wonderful job in trying to do the work that was not done during all the years that Tom Playford was Premier and during the 2 years that Steele Hall was Premier. I also want to put on record a statement which was issued yesterday by the Australian Teachers

Federation which is in full support of the Government's measures. The statement quite denigrates what Senator Hall is trying to do. It is quite obvious that he is playing a lone hand in moving his amendment. He does not have the support of the people who are most concerned about the education of the young people of this country and particularly the people who want a technical education and people who are more qualified than Senator Steele Hall is. The news release put out yesterday by the Australian Teachers Federation carries the heading: 'Senator's Amendment Threatens Technical and Further Education Program '.

Senator Milliner - Which Senator?

Senator McLAREN - Senator Hall.The news release reads:

The Federal Government's $115m program to upgrade Technical and Further Education over the next two years has been jeopardised by lone independent Senator Steele Hall.

Senator Hallhas moved a minor amendment to the Government Bill implementing the program, which, if carried, would cause the Bill to return to the House of Representatives.

Since the House has risen and will not sit again until next year, this would delay the progam for at least six months.

The General Secretary of the Australian Teachers' Federation, Dr George Smith, said today that delaying the Bill would adversely affect many school leavers and apprentices, and would drastically limit opportunities for adults to return to full or part-time studies.

Country students would be particularly hard-hit because of the Bill 's provision for hostels.

He said Senator Hall's amendment was petty and irresponsible, and he hoped Liberal and Country Party Senators would have the good sense to defeat it.

That Press release was signed by Dr George Smith, who is the General Secretary of the Australian Teachers Federation, and Mr Bob Harris, who is the Assistant General Secretary of the same organisation. The Australian Teachers Federation, which has its headquarters at Federation House, 300 Sussex Street, Sydney, has as its affiliates the New South Wales Teachers Federation, the Victorian Teaching Union, the Technical Teachers' Association of Victoria, the Queensland Teachers Union, the South Australian Institute of Teachers, the Tasmanian Teachers Federation, the State School Teachers Union of Western Australia, the Australian Capital Territory Commonwealth Teachers Federation, the Northern Territory Commonwealth Teachers Federation and the Papua New Guinea Teachers Association. The President of the organisation is Mr Eric J. Pearson.

All of those organisations and all of those people who have seen fit to oppose what Senator Hall is trying to do are telling the people who are interested in education that they want this legislation passed. They do not want it delayed by this petty amendment put up by Senator Hall who, as I said earlier, made no effort to contact the people who really matter. I am sure if he considered people, particularly those in the country areas, whose student children will be affected by this Bill, if it is amended, he would agree that he ought to be looking after the interests of these people. I know that we want to get the legislation through, but I thought it my duty to repudiate what Senator Hall said about the South Australian Labor Government's record on education and also to read into the record this Press release which has been put out by the Australian Teachers Federation.

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