House of Representatives
22 May 1970

27th Parliament · 2nd Session

Mr SPEAKER (Hon. Sir William Aston) took the chair at 10 a.m., and read prayers.

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Mr FOX presented from certain residents of New South Wales a petition showing that the red kangaroo and many other marsupials, through shooting for commercial purposes, have been reduced to a numerical level where their survival is in jeopardy; none of the Australian States have sufficient wardens to detect and apprehend people breaking the laws in existence in each State, and in such a vast country only uniform laws and a complete cessation of commercialisation can ensure the survival of our national emblem. It is an indisputable fact that no natural resource can withstand hunting on such a concentrated scale unless some provision is made for its future.

The petitioners pray that the export of all kangaroo products be banned immediately, and the Commonwealth Government make a serious appraisal of its responsibility in the matter to ensure the survival of the kangaroo.

Petition received and read.


Dr SOLOMON presented from certain residents of the State of Victoria a petition showing that, because of uncontrolled shooting for commercial purposes, the population of kangaroos, particularly the big red species, is now so low that they may become extinct; there arc insufficient wardens in any State of the Commonwealth to detect or apprehend those who break the inadequate laws which exist; as a tourist attraction the kangaroo is a permanent source of revenue to this country; and it is an indisputable fact that no species can withstand hunting on such a scale, when there is no provision being made for its future.

The petitioners pray that the export of kangaroo products be banned immediately, and the Commonwealth Government take the necessary steps to have all wildlife in Australia brought under its control. Only a complete cessation of killing for commercial purposes can save surviving kangaroos.

Petition received.


Mr REID presented from certain residents of the State of Victoria a petition showing that, because of uncontrolled shooting for commercial purposes, the population of kangaroos, particularly the big red species, is now so low that they may become extinct; there are insufficient wardens in any State of the Commonwealth to detect or apprehend those who break the inadequate laws which exist; as a tourist attraction the kangaroo is a permanent source of revenue to this country; and it is an indisputable fact that no species can withstand hunting on such a scale when there is no provision being made for its future.

The petitioners pray that the export of kangaroo products be banned immediately, and the Commonwealth Government take the necessary steps to have all wildlife in Australia brought under its control. Only a complete cessation of killing for commercial purposes can save surviving kangaroos.

Petition received.


Mr IRWIN presented from certain residents of New South Wales a petition showing that the red kangaroo and many other marsupials, through shooting for commercial purposes, have been reduced to a numerical level where their survival is in jeopardy; none of the Australian States has sufficient wardens to detect and apprehend people breaking the laws in existence in each State, and in such a vast country only uniform laws and a complete cessation of commercialisation can ensure the survival of our national emblem; and it is an indisputable fact that no natural resource can withstand hunting on such a concentrated scale unless some provision is made for its future.

The petitioners pray that the export of all kangaroo products be banned immediately, and the Commonwealth Government make a serious appraisal of Its responsibility in the matter to ensure the survival of the kangaroo.

Petition received.

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– J ask the PostmasterGeneral a question concerning the direction which was received by the Australian Broadcasting Commission a week ago from him to reduce expenditure on television current affairs programmes by $250,000 a year. Since the Broadcasting and Television Act requires the Minister to report in writing such ministerial directions to both Houses, 1 ask him whether he will do so in sufficient time for the Houses to consider and debate this punitive action before the Houses adjourn for the winter recess?

Postmaster-General · PETRIE, QUEENSLAND · LP

– I think it might be expected of the Leader of the Opposition that he would authenticate the statements that he makes to the Parliament. What he has put into the Parliament flows out of a fog of journalism which descended upon Canberra last night, which is still with us this morning and which is purely speculative. I therefore have no further comment to make.

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– My question to the Postmaster-General concerns representations I have had recently from an engineer in the Postmaster-General’s Department in my electorate who claims that he speaks for nearly 70 engineers in the country areas of New South Wales and who also claims that the PMG engineers now find themselves in a depressed and overloaded position because of alleged inadequacy of pay and a shortage of engineers. Is there an extreme shortage of PMG engineers in country centres? Is it a fact that an application for increased salaries was recently heard by the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission? If this is a fact, and the engineers are dissatisfied with the result of their appeal to the Commission, what steps should they take to appeal against what some of them, at any rate, feel to be an unsatisfactory decision?


– I think that some aspects of this question might more properly have been directed to the Minister for Labour and National Service. As I understand the position, an application was lodged, in the normal course, with the Public Service Board and an appeal was made to the Full

Bench of the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission. The claim made by the Professional Officers Association concerning engineers was rejected by the Commission. If the engineers believe that they have new material which is pertinent to a claim for increased wages, they have the right to approach the Public Service Board again with a claim.

As to the other questions that the honourable member has asked about engineers in the Post Office, it is fair to say that with the technological developments that have taken place in recent times there is a shortage of engineers in many areas of industry in Australia. The Post Office is short of engineers not because we do not have more engineers now than we had 12 months ago but because there has been an increase of no less than 23.5% in the demand rate for telephones in the 10 months to April last. The honourable member will appreciate that as a result a tremendous work load is developing within the Post Office in relation to telephone installations. The shortage of engineers relates to the increased work load rather than to a reduction in their numbers compared with the previous 12 months.

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Mr Clyde Cameron:

– I ask what is in effect a question supplementary to the question asked by the honourable member for Farrer, but it is directed to the Minister for Labour and National Service. In view of the grave dissatisfaction that exists among professional engineers and of the fact that Australia is now one of the countries in the Western world which have fewer engineers per 100,000 head of population than many other countries, and in view of the fact that 2 of the members of the joint Bench of the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission which rejected the engineers’ claims expressed the view that the Public Service Board’s offer was inadequate, will the Minister use his good offices with the Commission to arrange for the case to be reopened and reheard, and at the rehearing will the Government refrain from pressing upon the Commission the acceptance of the Public Service Board’s assessment of the proper rates of pay?

Minister for Labour and National Service · BRUCE, VICTORIA · LP

– There has been a very widespread programme of action, I would call it, by the executive of the Association of Professional Engineers, Australia to express the dissatisfaction of that Association with the decision which was made by the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission.

Mr Stewart:

– That is a shocking thing to do, is it not?


– The honourable member for Lang has interjected and said: ‘That is a shocking thing to do’. I did not make that suggestion. I do not think it is a shocking thing to do. In the period of time that I have been in the House I have seen a very great number of programmes of expressions of dissatisfaction over a wide range of things and I do not regard this particular activity as any different from them. This is an association unhappy with a decision. There are a number of members of associations who are not happy and they pursue this through their parliamentary members.

The first point I wish to make in regard to the honourable member’s question is to put aside the suggestion that there was a rejection of a claim. The engineers made a claim for, if my recollection is right, about a 45% increase. The case went on for a considerable period of time, a decision being given late last year. About 2 months prior to the giving of the decision the Public Service Board announced that of its own volition, after having heard the arguments before the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission, it would pay an increase of between 11% and 15%. In the ultimate the Commission awarded that amount. There was not a rejection; there was an assessment by the arbitral tribunal that the amount that was proper to award was between 11% and 15%.

The next point that was made by the honourable gentleman in his question was: Would I use my good offices with the Commission? I have no role of that kind, nor can I have, nor should 1 have, nor should any Government member have it. The Commission is an independent statutory body of very high quality and of great experience which is charged with wage fixing by the arbitral process when negotiations between the parties fail. I do not have the good offices available to me which the honourable gentleman suggests. He has had enough experience in the industrial jurisdiction to know that a Minister should not have that sort of influence or power.

The next matter he raised was: If the matter is reheard would the Government refrain from pressing upon the Commission the acceptance of the Public Service Board’s determination? The answer to that must be: No, the Government would not refrain in the sense that we would give no undertaking at this point as to what would be the Public Service Board’s attitude before the Commission. The Public Service Board is an independent body charged with a prime wage fixation. I know very well that it is the policy of the Opposition to take unto itself as a political discharge of power the fixing of wages and conditions. That distinguishes the Australian Labor Party from this side of the House. We would not want to do it; we would not want to enter into an auction at election time with a government saying We will offer this in wages and conditions’ and the opposition offering something else. The Government would not want to do that. Therefore, we would reject that point.

The final point to make is that apparently unknown to the honourable gentleman the Association of Professional Engineers has at this time lodged claims before the Public Service Board for increases in pay. As I understand it those matters will be pursued through the negotiation processes between the Board and the Association.

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– I direct my question to the Minister-in-Charge of Aboriginal Affairs. Has the Office of Aboriginal Affairs taken any steps to assist the Torres Strait Islanders to exploit the wolfram deposits on Banks Island?

Minister for Social Services · MACKELLAR, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is yes. As early as 19th November last I was in touch with the Queensland Minister for Conservation, Marine and Aboriginal Affairs and he replied to me by letter on 27th November. At the beginning of February Mr Killoran, the Queensland Director of Aboriginal and Island Affairs, advised my office that his Minster had asked the Queensland Department of Mines to make a complete evaluation of the minerals on the island. He said that should the investigation by the Department of Mines prove that worthwhile mineral deposits exist on the island the Queensland authorities may approach my office for financial assistance to exploit them.

Mr Uren:

– Why do you not make a statement after question time? We will give you leave.


– If the honourable member would prefer that, 1 will do it.

Mr Barnard:

– I take a point of order. We will not give the Minister for Social Services leave to make a statement. The Minister and the Leader of the House are well aware of the arrangement to be made. If the Minister is to make a statement the statement has to be in the hands of the Opposition at least 2 hours before the House meets. In the circumstances we would refuse the Minister leave to make a statement.


– I understand the honourable member’s viewpoint, but there is no point of order involved.

Mr Barnard:

– The honourable member for Reid drew attention to the fact that the Minister is giving a prepared answer.


– The honourable member for Reid did not raise a point of order.


– In view of what has happened I propose to continue with the answer to the question asked.

Mr Nicholls:

– Have you got the right page?


– Yes.

Dr Jenkins:

– 1 take a point of order. I understood from the notice paper that we are asking questions without notice. How does it arise that the Minister has a printed reply?


– There is no valid point of order. I have said in this House on several occasions that it is impossible for the Chair to decide at any time whether a question is with or without notice. I have also said to the House that I expect questions to be as short as possible. I would remind Ministers who are making replies to questions that their answers should be relevant to the question and as short as practicable.

Mr Scholes:

– I rise to order. The Minister indicated that he would resume his seat and make a statement later. He is now rising to make that statement and has indicated that he will further answer the question.


– There is no point of order. Originally the Opposition offered to give leave to make a statement and then the offer was withdrawn. I would request the Minister for Social Services to make his answer as short as possible.


– As short as possible in the circumstances. The matter was raised in the Press this morning and it was not unreasonable to expect a question. 1 was in telephone communication with the Queensland Minister and on 1 1 th February J wrote to him saying that I would be prepared to make Commonwealth capital fund moneys available for Aboriginals provided there was a reasonable prospect of their venture succeeding. On 12th February the Queensland Minister . replied to me and I wish to quote the relevant passage from his letter. If the House requires it I am prepared to lay the letter on the table of the House. The relevant passage reads:

I have made . . .

Mr Martin:

– I rise to order. The Minister at the table is flouting your previous ruling to make the answer as brief as poss bie.


-I did not rule in this matter. 1 made a request of the Minister.


– I am making it as brief as possible in the circumstances. I now quote from the letter of the Queensland Minister of 12th February. It reads: 1 have made it quite clear that the wolfram deposits on Banks Island (Moa) are within the area reserved for the benefit of assisted Torres Strait islanders, the deposits were discovered by the Torres Strait islanders, they have been intermittently worked by the Torres Strait islanders for many years, and I have no intention of allowing the deposits to be exploited to the disadvantage of the islanders.

It is my intention, following receipt of advice from my colleague, the Minister for Mines, to discuss the whole position wilh the Torres Strait islanders who will be assembled in conference in March, following which a decision will be taken on departmental plans and procedures. It could well be that in order to preserve the interests and best further the needs of the Torres Strait islanders that a corporate body may be established to develop the mineral deposits, seeking from you a grant for drilling and exploration work, and in the light of the knowledge then gained, possibly a capital advance for development and mining to proceed.

This matter has been consistently followed up. At the present moment the Chairman of the Council for Aboriginal Affairs, Dr Coombs, who is not inexperienced in financial matters, is in the north of Australia and will be meeting the solicitors for the islanders in Cairns tomorrow in order to decide what best may be done. But I want to say quite definitely that I think the House should reject the assertion which has been made in another place to the effect that the Queensland Government will dishonour the commitments and moral obligations which it has very properly undertaken and which are set out in the Minister’s letter. I have every confidence that in this matter the Queensland Government will proceed in accordance with the Minister’s letter and will sec that these deposits are developed for the advantage of the Torres Strait islanders as it has said. I think that the Queensland Government’s word in this matter can be quite definitely trusted.

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– My question is directed to the Minister for Education and Science. What prompted the Government in 1965 to introduce the Commonwealth secondary scholarship scheme and the Commonwealth technical scholarship scheme? Why has the Government allowed the number of these scholarships to remain static while the number of applicants for secondary scholarships has increased by 23,300 and the number of applicants for technical scholarships has increased by over 17,400? Must not the Government’s neglect seriously aggravate inequality of educational Opportunity to the special disadvantage of less well off families and also impair the flow of skill so sorely needed in the Australian economy?

Mr N H Bowen:

– As I was not the Minister responsible for the matter in 1965, I am not able to offer any speculation to the honourable member as to what prompted people to take the action that they took. But I think what is clear is that it was a very good step to take at that time in relation to these scholarships. Year by year there is a review of the whole spectrum of scholarships, including not only secondary and technical scholarships but entrance scholarships to universities and colleges of advanced education. Substantial increases have been made and priorities have been allocated. Any increase of funds is given to the area where it is thought it will do the most good. Of course one can adopt the point of view that there ought to be increases all round. One can take that point of view not only in relation to education and science but in relation to practically every other field. But the honourable member is perfectly well aware that resources are limited. Judgments have to be made. I think he is probably aware that that is the reason why the effort has been put into tertiary education scholarships up to this point of time. However this matter is constantly under review and will be coming up at Budget time.

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– 1 ask the Treasurer whether it is true that he and the Minister for Defence have agreed to meet a delegation of primary producers from western Victoria later today. If this is so, can he give me and the producers of Victoria an assurance that any proposals put forward by the delegation will receive immediate and sympathetic consideration by him, as Treasurer, and the Government as a whole?


– Yes, I shall be meeting a delegation from this area, which is closely associated with the honourable member’s electorate. He has been very interested for some considerable time in this exercise. Without trying to foreshadow what is said on this occasion, representations put to me by a delegation which puts its position seriously and clearly are given careful consideration.

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– My question is directed to the Minister for Primary Industry. He will remember that during the Grievance debate yesterday the honourable member for Franklin requested him to make an immediate statement on the proposed apple and pear stabilisation scheme for Tasmania. In view of the long delay, is the Minister now prepared to give an undertaking that the honourable member’s request will be expedited?

Minister for Primary Industry · RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES · CP

– The honourable member for Franklin did speak yesterday during the Grievance debate. He presented a catalogue of statements made and events that have occurred over the last 6 months aimed at trying to resolve the industry’s wish to have an apple stabilisation scheme. He was critical of the delay that has taken place. Last December the Chairman of the Austraiian Apple and Pear Board saw me and asked whether I would have a conference with the industry to see whether we could negotiate a stabilisation scheme. I informed him that 1 thought the most appropriate time for such a discussion would be after I had received information from the survey into the apple industry being carried out by the Bureau of Agricultural Economics. For a series of reasons this survey has not been completed and therefore I had not been able to submit that report to the industry.

In the meantime officers of my Department have been working with industry representatives to iron out any difficulties they can see in the plan that is to be submitted to me. I am told that the survey of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics is now completed, but it will take a little while to put it in documentary form. In the meantime the Bureau has prepared another paper for me containing new evidence and information relating to the industry resulting from the survey. I have forwarded this information to the Chairman of the Apple and Pear Board and have suggested that there should be a meeting of officers of my Department and industry representatives to review these matters. This meeting has been set down for next Tuesday in Melbourne. At that meeting I will be able to provide them also with the information I have received from the survey. I hope I will be able to give them a preliminary document in the very near future. The final report will take a little while to publish.

I am aware that the honourable member for Franklin and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition might feel that there has been some delay in doing this, but I want to assure them that the Government has treated this as a matter of urgency. I have no wish to act promptly and boldly in order to get 5 minutes of approbation only to have the scheme rejected by sections of the industry or by the Commonwealth and State governments. Deep and detailed consideration of all the information available is required. An apple stabilisation scheme is not easy to implement. There are many complications. Different conditions apply to the industry in different parts of Australia. There is a wide variety of apples. There are problems in the export and sale of apples. All of these things have to be taken into consideration. 1 hope that when these matters are resolved I can place before the Government a scheme which will be acceptable.

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– The Minister for Labour and National Service will be aware that the present term of the Chairman of the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority expires on 30th June 1970. Is it a fact that no arrangements have been made for a further appointment? If this is so, does it mean that the Authority is to be disbanded or reduced in function? If so, is any action contemplated to ensure job continuity or security for employees of the Authority, particularly those whose age precludes them from taking advantage of ready alternative employment opportunities?


– The Stevedoring Industry Act provides for a temporary situation. Historically casual employment was provided for on the waterfront. About 3 or 4 years ago there was a move towards permanency. Legislation was introduced by my friend and colleague, the Treasurer. Under that legislation there was authority to make regulations to permit permanency on the waterfront until 30th June 1970. In accordance with that change about 80% of people employed on the waterfront are permanently employed. That permanency extends only to about 20% of the ports, the remaining 80% being outports. It is necessary that legislation be passed before 30th June. I expect to introduce legislation into this House very soon. It has been delayed because of the need for wide ranging consultation with all the parties engaged in the industry. However, the present legislation will expire on 30th June and the appointment of the Chairman of the Authority also will expire on 30th June. When the new legislation is introduced I would not expect it to affect the staff of the Authority. As to the functions of the Authority, that is a matter for consideration.

I do not expect that the staff will be changed. I think that over a period of time there will be some redundance as more of the outports change to a permanency situation, but there is no need for the staff of the Authority to be alarmed. As the changes occur I would expect my departmental officers to be talking to the General Secretary of the Federated Clerks Union of Australia which is the union to which the staff belong. I will be writing a letter to Mr Riordan within the next day or two and will suggest to him that there should be continuing discussions as the situation changes.

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– I ask the Minister for Shipping and Transport whether any approach has been made to him by the West Australian Government to preserve the port of Albany as an export port, particularly for the export of wool. Does the Minister know whether such a move has been made? What is being done or has been done by his Department to ensure the protection and preservation of Albany as a port?

Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Industry · NEW ENGLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · CP

– About 6 months ago I took the opportunity to visit Albany to see what developments were taking place. As on my visit to Portland, I was tremendously impressed with the potential of the region as a wool selling centre. It is true that as a result of the introduction of container vessels there has been a general change towards the centralisation of cargo handling. This has meant that instead of being handled for container consignment through the outports, cargoes are being progressively centralised in the 3 major container ports of Fremantle, Melbourne and Sydney. As far as cargo handling and future projects at Albany are concerned, there have been discussions between the West Australian Government, people in the port of Albany, wool growers in the area, and me. There are 2 substantial objectives which we seek to attain. The first, and I think the more significant, is to ensure that growers of wool, and consequently, those who arc interested in the selling of wool, should have the cost of freight on their wool contained if possible, and that they should have access to a shipping frequency which, in the case of the port of Albany, has not previously been available. In the past no undertaking has been given by the Conference to provide for the clearance of wool from wool auctions within the prompt day. Although this has taken place in some wool selling seasons it has not always been so.

As the honourable member will know, as a result of the recent discussions between the Australia-London tonnage conference and the shipping consortia agreement has been reached that the cost of transporting wool from the outports to the main ports will be borne by the shipping companies. Two things are of significance to the port of Albany. The first is that those who sell wool in the area may be confident that they will be able to have their wool transported from that wool selling centre at the same freight rates as apply to any other main selling centre in Australia. This is of great significance. I am sure that it will inspire confidence at that centre, as well as at Portland.

The second thing is that the shipowners will be encouraged to move wool direct from Albany, and, I hope also from Portland when the circumstances justify it, to overseas ports when sufficient wool is available. This will mean for Albany, when the Scandinavian line ships are introduced in 1972 and the roll-on roll-off ships come into service, that possibly some of these vessels will carry wool shipments direct from that port. As a result of the discussions between the Western Australian Government and the Commonwealth Government the potential for the growth of Albany, Portland and other outports will be ensured and we will be able to achieve improved economies from the very frequent and regular services that the container corsortia are introducing.

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Mr Donald Cameron:

– Has the Attorney-General’s attention been drawn to the report in which Mrs Margaret Berman, a woman connected with the Victorian abortion inquiry, claims that the tape recording that I have referred to now on 3 occasions in the last fortnight was made after her first visit to the office of the Victorian Solicitor-General? Does the Minister agree with me that it appears that the Victorian Solicitor-General was an accessory to or promoted a breach of the Commonwealth Post and Telegraph Act?

Will the Minister ensure that an investigation is begun and that if my contentions are proved to be correct summonses will be issued immediately without fear or favour?

Attorney-General · BEROWRA, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

– My attention has been drawn to the report referred to by the honourable member for Griffith. In answer to the second part of his question, I would certainly not agree that the facts alleged in the report - the honourable member seems to assume that everything in the report is true - afford any ground whatsoever for making any imputation against the Victorian Solicitor-General. I hope the honourable member does not think that I am dealing sternly with his question, but an imputation against a law officer of the Crown whom I know well and respect greatly is a somewhat serious matter. I have given the honourable member an assurance earlier this week that I will investigate, and indeed thai I have under consideration, the matters that he raised concerning the taping of telephone conversations which were given in evidence in the Victorian abortion inquiry. That assurance stands.

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– I direct my question to the Minister representing the Acting Minister for Immigration. Has his attention been drawn to statements made by the newly arrived Japanese Consul criticising visa regulations applying to Japanese tourists, and to statements by Japanese business.ment about restrictions under our immigration laws on Japanese interests establishing industries in Australia and providing workers and executives? If so, in view of the obvious misunderstanding of the position, will he state the facts to the House and give assurance that the Japanese are treated no worse and no better than other nationals under our immigration policy? Will he also agree that Japanese industrialists have been encouraged and have never lacked the initiative and also the ability to expand and to protect their trade with Australia irrespective of tariff or immigration policies?


– I did see the report in the Press. I made the appropriate inquiries of the Department of Immigration. 1 am told by the Department that no approach has been made to it by Japanese consular officials as yet. On the contrary, the Department will make an approach to the Japanese consular official concerned and will ask him to tell it directly what the complaint is so that the Department can take appropriate action to ease it, if it exists. The honourable gentleman asked me to state the position. I think that I should inform the House in response to that request, for I think it is an appropriate request to make in the circumstances, that Japanese citizens need visas just as do all aliens. The Government has the opinion that as Australia is a major migrant receiving country the maintenance of the visa system in Australia is essential Therefore, all aliens are required to have a visa. That does not imply in any way that there is a more difficult process for Japanese than for any other alien.

Japanese will come to Australia essentially in one of three categories. First, they will come as businessmen or tourists for short term visits. A visa agreement exists - I think it was signed in February 1969 - which abolishes the visa fees. The purpose of this agreement was to make the granting of visas simple. Normally, that is done very quickly. The second of the remaining 2 categories is the managerial and executive type entries. These are people who come to branch offices of Japanese firms in Australia. These people come in on a 4-year visa period with their dependants. There are over 400 such people in Australia at the moment who have entered for a 4- year period. They are over 600 dependants with them.

The other group is the specialist group. These are people who come in for 2 years. They come in for some job that is being carried out for which no Australian workforce is available in that field. They come in after discussions between my own Department of Labour and National Service, and trade unions. 1 think that there are over 200 such people in Australia at present. The number of their dependants might be 50 or 60.

The important thing which I should emphasise is that, in all respects, for these types of entries, the Japanese are in no different position from other aliens. The requirements for the managerial section or the specialist section would apply to people from the United States of America. Europe or from other Asian countries as well as

Japan. If there are any reasonable complaints on the part of consular officials, 1 am sure that the officers of the Department of Immigration will do what they can to eliminate the cause for these complaints.

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– Has the attention of the Minister for the Army been drawn to a statement made by an official of the Victorian Dairy Farmers Organisation claiming that margarine is being issued to Australian soldiers as part of their combat ration pack? 1 ask further: Is the Minister aware that as long ago as the Second World War troops were supplied with tropical spread butter with a low melting level? Could the Army in future take action to supply tropical spread butter instead of margarine to all Army personnel?

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister · KOOYONG, VICTORIA · LP

– My attention has not been drawn to the article that the honourable member cited. But I would say that the Army’s home ration scale provides an entitlement of 1.5 ounces of butter per man per day for use as a spread on bread and its like, and also for cooking. It is true that margarine is supplied in the 1-man combat ration pack for use as a spread and there are some very good reasons why this is done. In fact, I have the reasons before me in some detail, but ] do not wish to inconvenience honourable members at this time; so I will provide the honourable member for Cowper with the details subsequent to the expiration of question time. However, I would say that, with the exception of the use of margarine in the 1-man combat ration pack, the Army’s preference is for butter.

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– I ask a question of the Minister for Health. When can 1 expect an answer to the question 1 put on notice for him a month ago seeking the official statistics on the ratio of hospital beds per 1,000 people in Canberra, which seems to be poorer than in any of the States? Since his colleague, the Minister for the Interior, has found it possible to answer at least a dozen questions on current issues in Canberra since that time, why will he not give an answer to this solitary question I have asked him in relation to this current issue for which his Department is responsible?

Minister for Health · BARKER, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · LP

– When the honourable gentleman raised with me the other day the general question of answering his questions I gave a general reply which still stands. At that time I indicated to him that if he would let me know which of the questions that he had on the notice paper had priority in his mind I would give them priority. Indeed he did indicate to me or to my office his wish to have I question answered, lt related to nursing and obtaining the answer involved an enormous amount of work, telephone calls all over Australia and almost a week’s work for 2 officers. However my Department obtained the information for him in the time in which he required it. I now lake this question to mean that he gives priority to the question he mentioned and I will treat it in the same way.

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– 1 present the report of the Joint Committee on the Australian Capital Territory on the milk industry in the Australian Capital Territory. Mr Speaker, I seek leave to make a short statement in connection with the report.


– There being no objection, leave is granted.


– As a result of general dissatisfaction in the community over a rise in the price of milk coupled with widespread unrest in the vending sector of the industry the Minister for the Interior (Mr Nixon) referred this matter to the Committee in July last year. The Committee looked at the economics of the industry as a whole and focussed its attention on the elements of cost in the supply and distribution of milk and on their effect on its price to the householder. In doing this, it also examined the profitability of the industry in the Australian Capital Territory with a view to determining whether the profit was being distributed equitably among the various sectors. As honourable members will see from the report, the Committee found that there were a number of aspects of the industry adversely affecting the community. Many of these had long been known to my predecessor on the Committee, the late Mr J. R. Fraser, former member for the Australian Capital Territory. Over the years he had listened to the complaints of householders and milk vendors in the absence of any independent arbitrator within the industry. Until his death in April Mr Fraser took an active part in this inquiry. His searching questions based on his wide knowledge and interest in the community’s problems and attitudes quickly elicited a wealth of information and enabled the Committee to reach decisions which we consider will benefit the people of the Australian Capital Territory for whom he gave so much.

This has been a most thorough inquiry. Despite the heavy parliamentary programme and the interruption caused by the election, the Committee met regularly to examine witnesses and to consider evidence. Some honourable members may be aware that during the course of the inquiry the New South Wales Government brought down legislation to regularise the milk industry in that State. As most of Canberra’s milk comes from New South Wales the Committee was anxious to see the effects of this legislation. The community may rest assured that the Committee is confident that the cordial co-operation which has existed will continue and that this legislation will benefit the Australian Capital Territory.

Turning to the Committee’s findings, let me say at the outset that the evidence overwhelmingly supports the need at this stage in Canberra’s growth for an independent body to regulate the industry. Whether this should be a tribunal consisting of a number of people representing interested parties or 1 person, perhaps to be designated Milk Commissioner, it should have the power to arbitrate in the disputes which have become all too common and hence cannot be considered in any sense to be of a passing nature.

Areas which require its urgent attention are: Firstly, an examination of the economics of the competitive elements in the industry, which are unique and costly to the Australian Capital Territory; secondly, the supervision of the vending sector to enable it to re-organise uneconomic milk runs, allocate runs in the new suburbs, mediate between the vendors and the milk supply companies, and deal with the complaints of householders against individual vendors; thirdly, the establishment of machinery for close liaison with the New South Wales Government and all other bodies which have influence over supplies of milk entering the Australian Capital Territory; fourthly, the rationalisation of the distribution sector through the introduction of one brand zoning, because, bearing in mind the excellent quality of milk supplied at present to Canberra households, the community simply cannot afford the cost of the type of competition which in some instances involves 2 vendors following each other along a street; fifthly, the introduction of a system of tokens for payments by householders, which would virtually eliminate thefts common to the industry throughout Australia and with them the costly accounting systems used by vendors and would also benefit the community through facilitating alterations in price of less than lc a pint. Tokens have been readily accepted and have operated efficiently in many areas of New Zealand.

It was also clear that the price of milk in Canberra is too high and that consideration should be given to reducing it by at least lc a pint. The Committee emphasises that the milk companies could purchase more milk from areas which experience less marked fluctuations in output due to seasonal conditions; for example, north eastern Victoria and the southern Riverina district. At present too much milk comes from high cost producing areas and there is no need for this. The Committee also recommends that the Department of Health regulations be amended to allow milk processed outside the Australian Capital Territory to be brought in in cartons. This is not possible at present. This change would introduce an element of competition which is lacking at present and would discourage further price increases by the 2 companies supplying Canberra now.

The inquiry covered all sections of the industry including the producer, the consumer and the distributor. To reduce the price, or even hold it at the present level, in an inflationary period is a difficult problem. However the Committee believes that if the report is implemented all sections of the industry wm benefit and milk will be provided to consumers at a reasonable price.

Ordered that the report be printed.

page 2641


Motion (by Mr Snedden) agreed to:

That the House, at its rising, adjourn until Tuesday, 2nd June, at 2 p.m.

page 2641


Second Reading

Debate resumed from 12th March (vide page 379), on motion by Mr Sinclair:

That the Bill be now read a second time.


– This Bill is to provide for the construction of a railway from Port Augusta to Whyalla in South Australia and for purposes connected therewith. The construction of this railway cannot be looked at as the construction of just 1 railway, lt must be treated, first, as a project that is essential for the development of a rapidly expanding section of South Australia. It must also be looked at as part of the overall pattern of standardisation of railway gauges throughout Australia and the extension of that particular railway system. Over the years, the Federal Parliament has attempted - and I give the various governments concerned full credit for this - to expand and develop standardisation, but many of the States have a very bad record in this field. Therefore, we have to look at the whole question of standardisation of gauges right back to 1921, when a royal commission was appointed to examine and bring down a report on the advisability of standardisation. As a result of that report one section of line was constructed and completed. It was an important link. I refer to the Kyogle to Brisbane section which enabled standard gauge line traffic to travel straight through from Sydney to the Queensland capital, Brisbane.

Very little was done until 1944 when the late E. J. Ward, who was Minister for Transport in the Labor Government, asked for a report on standardisation, and the report was prepared by Sir Harold Clapp. Once again there was no great activity in the matter. In 1949, after the States, and in particular the then Government of New

South Wales, were unable to agree to do anything about it, Mr Ward, on behalf of the Chifley Labor Government, presented to this Parliament the Railway Standardisation (South Australia) Agreement Bill. There are some very interesting facts in this Bill and the associated agreement. I seek the approval of the Minister for Shipping and Transport (Mr Sfnclair) to incorporate in Hansard a few clauses of this agreement which set out very clearly what the responsibilities of the Commonwealth and South Australian Governments were in the matter. With the concurrence of honourable members I incorporate the clauses in Hansard.


  1. The State shall carry out or execute, in accordance with the terms and conditions of this Agreement, the following works and undertakings, namely:

Conversion to standard gauge of the entire South Australian 5’ 3” gauge system and of the 3’ 6” gauge lines of the South Eastern Division, the conversion to standard gauge of existing locomotives and rolling stock suitable for conversion, and the construction of standard gauge locomotives and roiling stock to the extent necessary to replace the existing capacity of all units unsuitable for conversion to standard gauge.

  1. Conversion to standard gauge of the 3’ 6” gauge lines of the Peterborough Division of the South Australian Railways, the conversion to standard gauge of existing locomotives and rolling stock suitable for conversion, and the construction of standard gauge locomotives and rolling stock to the extent necessary to replace the existing capacity of all units unsuitable for conversion to standard gauge.
  2. The provision of terminal facilities rendered necessary by the conversion of any line specified in the foregoing provisions of this clause.


  1. – (1.) Seven-tenth of the cost of the standardisation works set out in clause 5 of this Agreement shall be borne by the Commonwealth and three-tenths of such cost shall be borne by the State.


  1. The Commonwealth shall undertake:

    1. the conversion to standard gauge of the 3’ 6” gauge lines of the Commonwealth Railways from Port Augusta to Alice Springs, the conversion to standard gauge of existing locomotives and rolling stock suitable for conversion, and the construction of standard gauge locomotives and rolling stock to the extent necessary to replace the existing capacity of all units unsuitable for conversion to standard gauge;
    2. the construction of a new standard gauge railway from Alice Springs to Birdum and the construction of the standard gauge locomotives and rolling stock necessary to operate this line; and
    3. the conversion to standard gauge of the 3’ 6” gauge Commonwealth Railway line from Birdum to Darwin, the conversion to standard gauge of existing locomotives and rolling stock suitable for conversion and the construction of standard gauge locomotives and rolling stock to the extent necessary to replace the existing capacity of all units unsuitable for conversion to standard gauge.
  2. The Commonwealth shall bear the cost of carrying out the works specified in the last preceding clause.

I thank the Minister. Before leaving the agreement I would just like briefly to draw attention to several factors in the clauses. In PartII, clause 5, the agreement states:

The State shall carry out or execute, in accordance with the terms and conditions of this Agreement, the following works and undertakings, namely:

Conversion to standard gauge of the entire South Australian 5 ft 3 in gauge system and the 3 ft 6 in gauge lines of the South Eastern Division . . .

Conversion to standard gauge of the 3 ft 6 in gauge lines of the Peterborough Division of the South Australian Railways . . .

The lines were the responsibility of the State Government. The Federal Government had responsibility for the conversion to standard gauge of the 3 ft 6 in gauge line of the Commonwealth Railways from Port Augusta to Alice Springs. Also, clause 21 states that the Commonwealth shall undertake:

  1. The construction of a new standard gauge railway from Alice Springs to Birdum and the construction of the standard gauge locomotives and rolling stock necessary to operate thisline; and
  2. The conversion to standard gauge of the 3 ft 6 in gauge Commonwealth Railway line from Birdum to Darwin . . .

The fact of the matter is that very little of this agreement has been honoured, but admittedly portion of it has. The Port Augusta to Alice Springs line has been upgraded but it has not been converted to the standard guage. The construction of a new standard gauge railway from Alice Springs to Birdum has not been undertaken. The conversion to standard guage of the 3ft 6in line from Port Augusta to Alice Springs also has not yet been undertaken. So when we look at the whole picture we find that very little of this agreement has been honoured. I think there is one particular part of it that has not been honoured and it is important. It may be said it has nothing to do with the Port AugustaWhyalla standard gauge conversion. The Adelaide-Port Pirie line is important because if one reads the report presented to the Minister in June 1966 it is very clear that the construction of this new section of railway was deferred until this time because of the failure of the Commonwealth and South Australian governments to complete the standardisation of the AdelaidePort Pirie section of that line. As far as the standardisation of this section is concerned. I was critical of the Government’s decision some 18 months ago when we had a Bill before this House dealing with standardisation. I said then that the Adelaide-Port Pirie section could have been part of the overall programme of standardisation of the Sydney-Fremantle line and the upgrading of certain sections of New South Wales line. Standardisation of the Adelaide-Port Pirie portion should have been part and parcel of that plan just as this Bill we have now before us to construct the Port AugustaWhyalla section should have been part of the standardisation programme.

We have seen the completion of the eastwest line which has, since the first official train went through on 23rd February this year, been operating with passenger traffic. Freight has been travelling on the line since November last year. So the whole section has been operative for 6 months but it will be a couple of years before the Port Augusta-Whyalla section is brought into the overall plan. Even at this stage there is no indication of whether or when the Government will proceed with the Adelaide-Port Pirie scheme. Again we have this stop-go policy adopted by the various governments with regard to standardisation instead of standardising all the branch lines, such as Adelaide-Port Pirie and Port AugustaWhyalla, at the one time. There is not a shadow of doubt that this Bill should have been before this Parliament over 2 years ago so that the proposal before us could have blended in with the general scheme of standardisation. The Adelaide-Port Pirie proposition likewise should have been brought in at the one time so that all the work could have been done together. There has been no justification over the years for the failure of the Commonwealth and the South Australian governments to complete the standardisation of the Adelaide-Port Pirie line, which should have been connected to the Trans Continental Railway.

The next thing we should have from the Government is some scheme for the standardisation of the Melbourne-Adelaide line so that at least all the capital cities of Australia might be connected on the standard gauge of 4 ft 81 in. As far as this Bill is concerned not a great deal can be said about it but I wish to criticise the Minister over the scant information made available to honourable members who are asked to support this proposition. Once again the Cabinet is treating the Parliament as if it was a rubber stamp. The Cabinet members are the brains. They know everything. We have to trot along behind and accept everything they toss up to us without any facts and figures being presented to us. I defy the Minister to indicate anywhere in the second reading speech or anywhere in the Bill where honourable members can gain any information about the actual cost of this railway or why the proposal was not adopted in 1966. It was 9.30 last night before the Minister gave me a copy of the section of the report which was presented to him in 1966. The further report was presented to him by the Commissioner of Commonwealth Railways, Mr Smith, late last year. So from the point of view of the average honourable member there is no information. He has to accept as gospel what the Minister says, without an opportunity to analyse the figures.

I have made a very brief examination of the figures and I find a few things of interest. If we go back to the 1966 figures, which were available to the Minister, they show that track construction costs would total $3,030,120 and the cost of rolling stock would be $1,629,000. I do not want to go through each individual item. I would be quite happy to incorporate the tables in Hansard so that everyone may peruse these figures at a later stage, because I think they are important. So with the concurrence of honourable members I incorporate in Hansard these tables.

page 2643



The Commonwealth Railways Commissioner’s report in June 1966 estimated the construction costs to be:

Additional rolling stock requirements were assessed as follows:

Passenger traffic would be accommodated in the existing Budd Rail Car fleet and other carriage stock of the Commonwealth Railways.

Additional revenue was estimated as follows:

Annual operating costs were expected to iata) $130,000 and depreciation would he fi 11.000 per annum. This left an excess of revenue over expenditure of $4)5,000 per annum, equivalent to a return on capital of about 6.2%.

In December 1969, the construction costs were re-estimated as follows:

Rolling stock requirements increased to cater for additional steel traffic were estimated as:

The cost of construction was $5,030,120 and the cost of rolling stock was $1,629,000. That work, on the basis of the estimated revenue of $656,000, disclosed an annual operating cost which was expected to total $130,000 and depreciation of $110,000 per annum. This left an excess of revenue over expenditure of $415,000 per annum, equivalent to a return on capital of about 6.2%. There is a qualification later in the report which says that these figures were dependent on the completion of the standardisation of the Adelaide-Port Pirie line. As I said earlier, completion of the Adelaide-Port Pirie line is important as far as this scheme is concerned and if the Commonwealth and South Australian governments had got together earlier and undertaken that job so as to blend the completion of it in with the general east-west standardisation scheme this line would have been operative at a much earlier date with a much lower capital cost than it will now incur and with a much better return on capital invested.

In order to give the comparative figures, the December 1969 report discloses that construction costs had increased from the figure I have just quoted of $5,030,120 to $5,759,000, an increase of 14.5%. The cost of rolling stock increased from $1,629,000 to $2,085,000- an increase of $456,000 or 27%. I know that the Minister will say that he had to order additional rolling stock; that is perfectly true. They still only required one diesel electric locomotive. The number of 75 feet flat top wagons was increased from 24 to 30. 1 want to deal with the actual costs of the freight wagons to show that even the cost of rolling stock has increased; the cost of the diesel electric locomotives - there are 2- has increased from $500,000 to $660,000 - an increase of $160,000. The cost of flat top wagons has also increased but as there was an increase in their number 1 will have to deal with each wagon. The increase per wagon was from $12,900 to $14,500. The cost of covered wagons increased from $350,000 to $440,000- an increase of $90,000. The number of open wagons increased from 20 to 25 and the cost of each additional wagon increased from $14,250 to $15,000. There were still only 2 guard vans required and their cost increased from $164,000 to $175,000- an increase of $11,000 for these 2 guard vans. So it can be seen from the figures that the delay in this project has cost the Commonwealth Railways dearly. If we accept the new figures the scheme will now cost $5,759,000 for track construction and $2,085,000 for rolling stock. All told there will be an increase of $196,000 in revenue. The report to the Minister states:

Additional steel traffic which had become available in 1968 was estimated to result in additional earnings of $196,000 per annum. Total revenue then became $852,000, offset by operating costs totalling $147,920 and depreciation of $140,000 per annum. The anticipated excess of revenue over expenditure thus became $564,000, about 7.2% of capital. 1 think that this railway could become as good a profit earning railway as any other railway in the Commonwealth. I am not talking about metropolitan railways. The Commonwealth Government has a case to answer for having delayed the decision to build this railway for so long. I have said this on a number of occasions, and I keep on repeating it because it is important. The Government should have done something about this earlier. It must have realised that the Broken Hill Pty Co. Ltd would expand its steel works at Whyalla. The company gave any amount of information indicating that it intended to expand. The Minister or the Commissioner of Commonwealth Railways had only to examine the procedures of this company at its 2 eastern steel plants at Newcastle and Port Kembla. Every night a train leaves beta steelworks with steel for interstate use. If one looks at the various costs of transport, one can see that road transport between Sydney and Adelaide costs 3.03c per ton mile, rail transport costs 2.76c per ton mile, and sea transport costs 1.19c per ton mile. It must be obvious to honourable members from these figures that sooner or later this company would transport its commodity to markets in the eastern and western States by rail rather than by ship. The availability of sea transport is rather spasmodic and would not provide a regular flow of steel to markets.

If rail transport is provided, as the Minister said in his second reading speech, there will be a freight train in and out of Whyalla every day. That will mean that this company can deliver steel anywhere in Australia within a matter of 36 hours. Direct delivery is important in the markets today. We know that the reliance upon warehouses has declined. All industries are concentrating on delivering from the factory to the customer and thus avoid building up huge stocks in warehouses as happened under the old concept of marketing. Today we know that carpet manufacturers in New Zealand send their carpets to Australia by aircraft, whereas at one time they sent them by ship. Biscuit manufacturers in New Zealand are also sending their products to Australia by air. As soon as the market demands these things they are put on the next plane and are delivered as quickly, and in fact in some cases probably more quickly, than if the company had a warehouse located in a capital city and had to deliver goods to a country market or even a city market.

It must have been obvious to Commonwealth Railways and to the Minister that Broken Hill Proprietary would wish to operate this system of marketing and that there would be a need for a railway at a very early date. This system of delivering directly to the consumer is not something new. Attention should have been given to it much sooner. Even on the figures I have just quoted from the 1966 report, it must be clear to everyone that the proposition was reasonably economic. In any case Commonwealth Railways and the Minister should have known that Whyalla would expand. Even forgetting about whether Broken Hill Proprietary would wish to carry its steel to its markets by rail, it must have been obvious to the Minister that Whyalla would expand at the rate at which it is expanding today. Every time one goes there one can see new houses going up and can see how the size of the steelworks has expanded and how the shipyard has grown.

The company gave any amount of indication to the Minister, who is responsible for shipping as well as railways, that it was to expand the size of its shipyard. A couple of years ago he received a request from the company for an interest free loan to expand the size of its slipways so that it could build bigger ships. This should have been a clear indication that the town of Whyalla would expand. Even if steel were not to he carried by railway to the Australia markets, the town of Whyalla had other reasons for wanting a railway. The report clearly sets out that the demand of the town for general goods is to the extent of S400.000 out of a total of $656,000. It should have been obvious that this item would expand. If a city is increasing in size, its demand for mail and parcel services, hardware and livestock will increase. So there was any amount of proof that a need for this railway existed long before its construction was approved.

There are a few other points in the Bill to which I would like to refer. As explained by the Minister, the Bill provides that this project shall not cost more than $7m. On the figures that the Minister made available to me, this figure should not be exceeded. The $7m is only for track construction, which is estimated to cost $5,759,000. So $7m should be a reasonably safe figure. I hope that the Minister will give us an assurance that if this $7m is not sufficient necessary legislation to approve further expenditure will be introduced and put through this Parliament in the same rapid and expeditious manner in which we put through a Bill earlier this year.

Mr Sinclair - Yes


– I thank the Minister for that assurance. I believe it is important. 1 take it from the report that the earth construction works are to be carried out by contract labour or on an outside tender basis.

Mr Sinclair:

– It will be done by tender. Just who does it will depend on the result of the tenders.


– What about the track laying?

Mr Sinclair:

– It will all be subject to tender. The lowest tender need not necessarily be accepted.


– But will the track laying be done by Commonwealth Railways, which I presume has the best track laying equipment?

Mr Sinclair:

– It will be subject to tender and the results of the tender will determine who does it.


– Will the tenders be compared with the price that Commonwealth Railways can do it for?

Mr Sinclair:

– Yes. Commonwealth Railways is quite free to tender.


– I accept that assurance that Commonwealth Railways will at least be given an opportunity to construct its own railway. I come to the schedule dealing with level crossings. Has the Minister given any consideration to installing barriers at each of these level crossings? We know from experience that there is always some galoot who is prepared to give it a go. Probably 9 times out of 10 he will succeed, but on the tenth occasion he may miss out. We had a recent unfortunate tragedy in South Australia in which some 16 passengers on a bus were killed. According to a coroner’s report, the driver was under the influence of alcohol. These things happen. On the New South Wales north coast just recently some 16 or 17 young children were killed in a bus fatality. I do not know whether the driver gave it a po. The children were killed in a level crossing smash. There may not be a train along a railway line every half hour. There will probably be only 4 trains a day - 2 each way or maybe 3 each way. In these circumstances people are more inclined to give it a go.

Flashing lights are to be installed at these level crossings, but I am wondering whether television could be introduced. This is done in a lot of places. Even though barriers are in operation, they are operated from a central point, using television. I am wondering whether this would be a practical proposition. Some of these level crossings are reasonably close to Port Augusta. I ask the Minister to give this some consideration. We do not want somebody giving it a go and not succeeding.

Mr Sinclair:

– There will be an overpass for the principal crossings.


– 1 know. But a lot of level crossings are to be equipped only with flashing lights. In my opinion we should not be constructing more level crossings with flashing lights. We should think in terms of barriers. Level crossings should be under the control of a central operator working with the aid of a television set. There should be one person responsible for opening and shutting gates. We should not be constructing more level crossings. The Opposition supports this Bill. We think it should have been introduced years ago to assist the development of this rapidly expanding section of South Australia.


– I was pleased to hear the Opposition state that it supported the Port Augusta to Whyalla Railway Bill. 1 am pleased to support it also. I know that I speak for all honourable members on this side of the House, particularly those representing South Australian electorates, when I say that we are glad to see this action taken at last. This Bill seeks the approval of Parliament in respect of an agreement between the Commonwealth Government and the South Australian Government to enable the construction, by the Commonwealth, of a new standard gauge railway between Port Augusta and Whyalla.

The original negotiations between the 2 governments were resolved on the initiative of the then Premier of South Australia, Sir Thomas Playford. I would like to see Sir Thomas receive due credit for his work in this regard because he successfully negotiated with the Commonwealth the standardisation agreement of 1949. South Australia was the only State to sign that agreement.

The result has been that South Australia has received substantial financial assistance - more than any other State - from the Commonwealth, first towards the TransAustralian Railway and secondly for the standard gauge line from Port Pirie to Broken Hill. This will be the third standard gauge line construction to be financed by the Commonwealth. Discussions are under way now to enable a link to be inaugurated from Tarcoola, on the trans-continental line, to Alice Springs. In addition, there is the standard gauge line from Port Augusta to Marree which links with the narrow gauge Central Australia Railway to Alice Springs.

Apart from the obvious need for the Australian States to establish a Federal government responsible for defence, external affairs, immigration and other matters, in which Commonwealth influence is becoming progressively greater, I believe that few problems could have influenced the founders of federation more than the hotchpotch of railway systems of that time, with various gauges in various States. It seems to mc that few things, even today, are retarding our national development more than this particular problem.

The general principle underlying thu distribution of Commonwealth assistance to State budgets is to enable each State to provide government services at a standard broadly similar to the standards in the other States, provided that the State makes similar efforts to raise revenue and control expenditure. Thus the wealthier States of Victoria and New South Wales receive lower amounts per head of population because, with higher levels of income, they have a greater capacity to raise revenue from their own residents and because they usually can achieve a similar standard of government services with lower per head expenditures than the other States. In spite of South Australia’s enormous area and relatively small population - it respresents aabout 9% of Australia’s total population - from its own resources and at its own initiative it has succeeded in establishing a very satisfactory internal railway system. I take this opportunity of impressing on the Government, through the Minister for Shipping and Transport (Mr Sinclair), the serious disadvantage suffered by South Australia compared to those State now linked together by the standard gauge railway sys tem. Traditionally, South Australia always has been a low cost State. It has survived because the cost of producing goods and transporting them to other States has often been lower that the costs in those States.

Past Governments, particularly those under Sir Thomas Playford and other Liberal leaders, have been able to achieve a comparatively peaceful industrial situation and to supply industry with adequate services at cheaper cost than has been the case in other States. For example, South Australia has such organisations as the highly successful Electricity Trust which supplies power at very low rates, and a more than adequate flow of water through the pipeline system from the River Murray, a scheme criticised very strongly when first introduced by Sir Thomas Playford. Events have proved that both those projects were the fulfilment of more than forward looking for South Australia.

Unfortunately, however, South Australian industry is now seriously disadvantaged in regard to the transport of manufactured goods to markets in the eastern States. All South Australians, irrespective of their political affiliations, warmly welcome the announcement of the Prime Minister (Mr Gorton) of the construction of the fourth line which is to connect Adelaide to Port Pirie. This line should be initiated very soon and it will place South Australian industry on at least an equal footing with competitors in other States.

There has been criticism of the decision to proceed with the Port Pirie to Whyalla link before the Adelaide to Port Pirie link but it must be remembered that when the original discussions took place it was uneconomic to proceed with the Whyalla link. The position has now changed. Obviously the decision by the Broken Hill Pty Co. Ltd to transport steel to South Australia by road and rail instead of by sea has made the whole project economically possible. There will in future be a very great increase in the freight carried. Port Augusta and Whyalla will become major industrial complexes and the construction of the standard gauge railway link is absolutely essential. It is also highly desirable from a social point of view. It is expected that apart from the large amount of freight to be carried between the 2 cities, a modern passenger service will be established using Budd rail cars. This will be of particular benefit to people in Whyalla.

The Government has paid special attention to level crossings. As a result of negotiations with South Austraiian authorities, several important safety factors will be included in this project. There will be a road overpass approximately 5 miles south of Port Augusta and the South Australian Highways Department has agreed to divert the Port August-Whyalla road so that traffic can use it. The other level crossings at Lincoln Gap and Point Lowly will be protected by flashing lights. Honourable members on both sides of the House obviously strongly support this Bill. The criticism that it should have been introduced many years ago is not valid in view of the economic position at that time.


– I am prepared to support the Bill, as were the 2 previous speakers. I am aware of the early history of the possibility of the construction of a railway line to Whyalla. The honourable member for Boothby (Mr McLeay) said that the credit for this line should go to Sir Thomas Playford. I know that Sir Thomas Playford made a statement about 12 years ago indicating that he wanted a line to Whyalla. 1 particularly remember him stating to a deputation, of which I was a member, that he would build it with State finance if he could raise it and that he would also buy the railway line from Port Augusta to Port Pirie, if he got the chance, and link it with the State system. Of course, that was not to be. The next stage of the construction of the railway line to Whyalla was reached in 1964, as stated by the Mnister for Shipping and Transport (Mr Sinclair), when its practicability was investigated. When examined as to whether it would be an economic proposition it was decided that it would not be a paying concern and the idea was dropped.

Of course, at that time the Broken Hill Pty Co. Ltd believed in moving all its steel out of Whyalla by ship. However, with the establishment of the steel works in Whyalla and with greatly increased production there was a change in the attitude of BHP. I understand that BHP had a very bad record as a deliverer of goods. My authority for that statement is a BHP official. Small purchases of steel had to wait until a ship was available to carry their goods to the eastern States or wherever they wanted it. This resulted in a great deal of delay. Small manufacturers wanting steel in 40 ton or SO ton lots just had to wait until the boat arrived. 1 think BHP realises that its bad marketing record would affect it, particularly in view of the fact that there was talk of other steel works opening in Australia. In this case possibly the BHP monopoly could be broken. As a result of this talk we saw a change in attitude by BHP. lt instituted the system which is operating at the present time where it carts its steel by truck from Whyalla to Port Augusta, puts the steel on the Commonwealth Railway trucks, and then it is taken to the eastern and western States. At present between 600 and 700 tons of steel a day is being carted in heavy trucks. I know that the sooner this railway line is completed the better it will be for BHP, because the road from Whyalla to Port Augusta is being torn to pieces. There are load limits on the bridge across the Gulf at Port Augusta. This means that trucks that weigh more than 16 tons have to make a wide detour around the top of the Gulf, which I think is an extra 16 miles each journey. So the sooner the railway line is completed the better it will be. As I said, the road is already starting to break up. Men arc continually working on it and trying to maintain it to a standard which is safe for motorists. This road is built for light traffic and is not built to carry this heavy traffic.

When we look at the railway map of Australia and see that we have now a standardised system from Perth right through to Sydney, through to Brisbane and down to Melbourne, I think it is a little ridiculous that we have this 47 miles of railway line which is not standardised. BHP has at Whyalla the third biggest steel complex in Australia and all it requires is this 47 miles of railway. That is why we fully support this proposition that the line go through. I know that there is a feeling in some quarters of Whyalla against the railway. These people feel that public money is being used to boost BHP. I suppose in a sense this is correct, but we cannot stand in the way of progress, irrespective of whether it is helping BHP or anyone else. BHP is one of the major steel producers of the nation, and I feel that if we are to gain the greatest advantage from this company it must be connected to the general railway system.

I would like to refer to a matter that the Minister mentioned in his speech and which is also included in the Bill. I refer to the cost of the railway. If we look back over our Australian history we will find that the greatest political blunders of all time have been committed in our rauilway system. Last century we finished up with 3 railway systems. The States had agreed to lay down a certain gauge of track, but then they changed their mind and we finished up with the shemozzle that we had until about 15 or 20 years ago. One of the mistakes that we should not make with this railway is to skimp on costs. The Minister said that it will cost $7m to complete this railway. Costs have probably been rising since the investigations were made, and I would certainly hope that, because a limit of $7m has been put on the railway, we will not skimp on it and finish up with a railway that is not really 100% or something that could have been made more up to date by the spending of a little bit more money.

There have been some big advances in the techniques of laying railway tracks and in the use of materials for the laying of the tracks. I would prefer the use of concrete sleepers. I know that the Commonwealth railway has been experimenting with concrete sleepers. Using concrete sleepers might work out slightly dearer than using wooden sleepers. But if we bear in mind maintenance costs over a great number of years we would probably find that the extra initial cost of concrete sleepers would bc saved over a long period. So I would hope that in limiting expenditure to $7m we do not reach the stage where we have to skimp on the railway because of lack of finance. If costs rise I hope enough finance will be made available to ensure that a really first class job is done on this railway.

The Minister said that the railway would carry light traffic. I assume from that statement that a lighter type of rail would be used - say an 80 lb rail. I would suggest that while we are doing the job it should be done properly and the heavier 94 lb rail, which the Commonwealth Railways used on its standardised system, should be used.

There is another matter to which I would like to refer. The honourable member for Newcastle (Mr Charles Jones) also referred to it. I am speaking about the laying of the tracks. The Commonwealth Railways has some very competent track laying engineers, lt has competent and experienced staff. They have shown in various projects which they have carried out that they are competent to do this job. I suggest to the Minister that serious consideration be given to allowing the Commonwealth Railways to carry out this work. I can remember a few years ago when the Commonwealth Railways were re-laying part of the track between Port Augusta and Port Pirie. A train used to leave Port Augusta about 4 o’clock in the afternoon. It would be carrying 6 lengths of fully welded, fully fabricated, track with the sleepers and dog spikes in position but not driven home. This train would travel to a place about 30 miles from Port Augusta. With the assistance of floodlights tractors would rip the old line out and pull new length of line into position. It is amazing just how much line they would lay in the time that they were there. A train would go over this particular section at possibly 4 o’clock in the afternoon and then another train would come back the other way at possibly 5 or 6 o’clock in the morning. I am not sure of the times, lt is marvellous the job those men were able to do between the passage of those 2 trains. So I suggest to the Minister that serious consideration be given to the employment of the present Commonwealth Railways staff to do the track laying. I think we can be assured of getting a good job. It will be done by experienced engineers and experienced fettling staff. I am sure that the job will be 100%. Another advantage is that the Commonwealth Railways can do the fabricating right beside its butt welding depot. I am sure that it could be worked out so that the Commonwealth Railways staff could do the whole job.

Perhaps 1 could refer to the benefit that the line will bring to Whyalla. We know that one of the main sources of benefit will be that steel products can be taken from the BHP works at Whyalla and distributed to all parts of Australia. It would certainly step up the distribution of our steel. There is no diversification of industry in Whyalla. We are all aware that it has a steelworks and it has the biggest shipbuilding yards in Australia. These are 2 big heavy industries. All employment is oriented towards those 2 industries. But this creates problems because most of the migrant women in the population are used to taking jobs. When they go to Whyalla they find there is practically nothing in the way of employment for married women or, for that matter, for single girls, which should be the most important consideration. Some Government assistance may be necessary - possibly from the States - to try to bring about some diversification of industry in Whyalla. This is essential to a more balanced growth of the whole area. At the present time there is no big light industry in Whyalla employing women. One of the advantages that I hope will come from the building of this railway is that it will attract light industries to Whyalla which are capable of employing women and so give the whole area, which is after all in a bit of an isolated pocket of South Australia, a more balanced economy, lt would certainly help to make people in the area more contented, which makes for the building of a better community. I am sure that the railway can assist in this regard.

I know that the main argument which has been put up against the establishment of industries in country areas has been the fact that raw materials have to be carted to the country. If we look at the railway map of Australia, with the completion of this line to Whyalla there will not be a great deal of difference in the distance between Sydney and Whyalla and Sydney and Adelaide, assuming that the Adelaide line will be linked up. We would also hope that the building of this railway line will take away this feeling of isolation, this feeling of being a company city, because this is the feeling that you get in Whyalla. Everything revolves around the Broken Hill Pty Co. Ltd. Industrial relations in Whyalla are not good. There is a big brother atmosphere. It is a case of the company versus the rest. I hope that the diversification of industry in Whyalla, which the railway will help to bring about, will relieve that situation which has been brought about by the big brother attitude. Whyalla has a unique type of local government; BHP has been able to nominate 50% of local government members and this has helped to build up bad public relations. 1 hope that the railway will be able to bring about relief of this situation.

If honourable members look at the Second Schedule of the Bill they will see that provision is made for the extension of the railway line from Whyalla. From what I can see, the only possible extension would be to the Eyre Peninsula in the western part of South Australia. In the Eyre Peninsula there are about 450 miles of narrow gauge railway line. The line was built with light rails from about 1900 to 1926. It is in a very bad, rundown condition. The State Government has allocated a certain amount of money to bc spent over a number of years to upgrade that line, but I am afraid that the money allocated will not be enough to do a proper job. I envisage that the only extension to the line from Whyalla could be to link up with the Eyre Peninsula railway at Kimba. This is a distance of 80 miles. I hope that that is kept in mind in the future so that the Eyre Peninsula can be brought into the general railway system. We know that the Eyre Peninsula has a narrow gauge system, but we know also what can be done with bogie exchange or gantry transfer systems. I am sure that the problem of the break of gauge can be overcome more easily now than in the past.

The linking of the railway line to the Eyre Peninsula will assist that area, which at the present time is going through a crisis because of the wheat position. 1 hope that money will be provided to complete the Kimba-Polda pipeline and so give producers in the upper Eyre Peninsula a chance to diversify. If the line is connected to Kimba, they will have an outlet to markets for the sale of their produce. This must be looked upon as a long range project. I certainly hope that it will become the pattern for the future, that the narrow gauge system will be linked up with the standard gauge system. As was said earlier, a lot of activity has taken place concerning the railways in that part of South Australia. Port Augusta I think we must admit, is the hub of our transport system. It is right in the centre; road and rail transport branch out in all directions. I hope that this will not be the last railway construction that we shall see in that part of South Australia.

We have seen the standard gauge go through to Marree. Now we shall see the line go through to Whyalla. The IndianPacific link through Broken Hill has now been completed. Big advances have taken place in railway transport over the last few years. 1 hope that there will be more. As mentioned by the honourable member for Boothby (Mr McLeay), I hope it is not too long before an announcement is made about the line linking Alice Springs with the east-west line at Tarcoola, because of the dislocation that takes place in wet years on the north-south narrow gauge line north of Marree. Last but not least 1 mention the need for a standardised gauge to Adelaide. I hops (hat in the very near future announcements will be made about the progress of these projects.

Northern Territory

– I rise to support the Bill concerning the railway line from Port Augusta to Whyalla. In so doing I would like to remind honourable members of the tremendous amount of work that the previous honourable member for Grey, Mr Jessop, put into this project. I should also like to bring before the House the fact that he did a lot of work with me concerning the Port Augusta to Alice Springs railway link, which has just been mentioned by the new honourable member for Grey (Mr Wallis). I understand that he recommends that it should go from Tarcoola to Alice Springs, along the route which the present road takes. That is a thoroughly recommended route for a railway line, as it goes along high ground. I reject the remarks of the honourable member for Newcastle (Mr Charles Jones) who criticised the fact that the Australian Government had not built all the railway lines mentioned in an agreement of many years ago. I point out that the North Australian Railway line, which was rehabilitated in the last 2 years, carried little or no freight until the Government put in a loading facility for iron ore at the port of Darwin. The iron ore traffic then came on to that line. The Government upgraded the railway line to the extent of $2m. That line is now working efficiently.

I thank the honourable member for Newcastle for his support of the Port AugustaAlice Springs link, because this is a vital link for produce and also for defence. A Government committee is at present considering the transport situation between Alice Springs and the south, including the road and the railway. I think that probably the railway will win. If we have a railway, we can get the road later. I live in this area and see the transport difficulties which are evident. Only last week traffic on the Marree to Alice Springs railway line was delayed by a washaway by the flat country alongside Lake Eyre. This is liable to happen at any time when there is a little above average rainfall.

I commend the Government for cmbarking on the Port Augusta to Whyalla railway. I do not want to detract from anything that my colleague in the next electorate, the honourable member for Grey, or the honourable member for for Borthly (Mr McLeay) have said, but I urge the Government to go ahead as soon as possible with the Tarcoola-Alice Springs link as it is vital not only to the development of central Australia but also to the security of northern Australia.


– I rise, like my colleagues on this side of the House, to support the Bill and clearly indicate that it is our belief that rail gauge standardisation ought to have top priority as it affects commerce and defence. I hasten to point out that I cannot commend the Government on this measure, for reasons which I will point out later. In all conscience I cannot support the ineptitude and procrastination which has been characteristic of this Government over the last 20 years. This is another glaring instance of where honourable members have not received all the necessary details and information to enable them to make a balanced evaluation of the Bill. All we received was the Bill and the Minister’s second reading speech. My colleague, the honourable member (Mr Charles Jones), was fortunate enough to receive a copy of the report submitted to the Minister. Niether the honourable member for Grey (Mr Wallis) nor I have had an opportunity to look at the report to assess the costs involved.

This piece of legislation flows from the policy speech of the Prime Minister (Mr Gorton) last year, not without, I would indicate clearly, continual and persistent prodding by the members of the Australian Labor Party both in this Parliament and in the South Australian Parliament. Despite the announcement by the Prime Minister in early October 1969, it was widely known throughout South Australia that this project for the rail link between Port Augusta and Whyalla in fact was finalised and was ready for construction and the legislation could have been presented to this House in late February or early March of 1969 with complementary legislation initiated and passed through the Parliament of South Australia. However, it is a fair assumption that the announcement of this piece of legislation was deferred obviously for a political reason. It was a political plum and was utilised throughout the seat of Grey at the last Federal elections.

The effects of the Bill are set out concisely in the second reading speech delivered by the Minister for Shipping and Transport (Mr Sinclair). In 1964, Sir Thomas Playford implored the Federal Government to get on with the construction of the railway. But here I would hasten to point out that what the Premier of South Australia in 1964 was referring to - this has been taken out of its context - was not the question of the Port Augusta-Whyalla rail link. He was pressing the Federal Government to adhere to and to honour the agreement made in 1949 by the Chifley Labor Government regarding the conversion of the whole of the broad gauge line between Adelaide and Port Pirie to the standard gauge to link Adelaide with the Trans-continental or standard gauge system. Further, Sir Thomas Playford was pressing for the construction of a standard gauge railway line to replace the present narrow gauge link between Alice Springs and the lower half of the Northern Territory with South Australia. That is what the then Premier of South Australia was pressing for. Governments of South Australia, irrespective of their political colour, have pressed for these things since 1949. Never mind saying that these things have been pressed for since 1964.

The project that is proposed in this Bill now before the House was considered by the Federal Government in 1964 to be uneconomic. But it was not uneconomic in the minds of the people who had to commute, in effect, between Port August and Whyalla. It was uneconomic only because it was not economically viable so far as the Broken Pty Co. Ltd was concerned. This is the one project in the town of Whyalla which has determined the necessity to get on with this link. The Government has looked at this matter on the question of priority insofar as the interests of BHP are concerned. The Government has totally disregarded since 1964 the question of how the construction of this link would affect people either in Port Pirie or in Whyalla.

The Bill provides that the link will be a single line with a length of some 47 miles and will include the necessary siding and a new station to be built at Whyalla. As the honourable member for Newcastle said - and this is contained in the second reading speech - provision is made for 1 freight train service per day each way. Similarly, 1 service per day each way will be provided for passengers. This l;ne will afford a very valuable commercial link between Port Augusta and Whyalla. The current population of Port Augusta is 15,000. In the case of Whyalla, the population is approximately 30,000 and is increasing rapidly.

This link will have, commercially and otherwise, far wider ramifications and benefits than those that are envisaged in the Bill. As I understand it, a decision was made by BHP to transport its steel products by road to Port Augusta and then by rail to the eastern States and Western Australia. That was the policy announced by BHP some time ago. This link will change that situation. I am reliably informed that over 2,000 tons of steel products are moved each week from Whyalla to Port Augusta and that the amount is on the increase. As a consequence of the completion of the link, it will be possible to transport such steel by rail direct from Whyalla without transhipment en route and, as indicated, it is rather obvious that steel will be able to be transported, as a result of this link, to any part of Australia within 35 hours to 40 hours.

According to the Minister, the estimated cost of the proposed link is some $7m exclusive of the additional cost of rolling stock. I might point out that one of the very issues upon which the people of South Australia, among a whole crop of others, expressed their gross dissatisfaction was the allocation of Commonwealth public works spending last year in South Australia and works in connection with loans made to the State Government. South Australia, if my memory :s correct, was allocated $ 10.38m as compared with m allocation to Tasmania of $48m.

The allocation to South Australia was, in effect, some $660,000 less than the allocation for the preceding year. Further, South Australia received the lowest amount of all in the allocation of Federal public works spending over the past 2 years. I might po:nt out, whilst it is not relevant to this Bill nor to the debate, but it is apposite to what I previously stated, that that an obvious fact which the people of South Australia will not overlook is that South Australia again has lost a major public works project to which the Commonwealth Government would have contributed funds. I refer of course to the abandonment of the Chowilla project which, if continued, would have seen the injection into the economy of South Australia of an estimated $65m.

Mr Sinclair:

– What about the railway standardisation project from Broken Hill? That took a lot of money. It represented a significant contribution to the economy of South Australia.


– Does the Minister wish to make a speech?

Mr Sinclair:

– I thought that it might be appropriate if the honourable member talks about this subject. We are talking about railways, not the Chowilla and Dartmouth projects.


– It is a pity that the Government did not talk about it. Its people in South Australia would not have lost 8 out of 12 seats at the last election. Frankly, the allocation of a paltry $7m in no way would make a valuable economic contribution to South Australia.

Mr Sinclair:

– That is not the purpose for which railways are built.


– No. But railways are built for the welfare, progress and development of a State and its people. This the Commonwealth has failed to do for the last 20 years -

Mr Sinclair:

– We did give assistance while Dunstan was in power but he did not know what to do with it.


– As the honourable gentleman is interjecting, I might indicate that there was no lethargic attitude by either the Labor Government or the Liberal Government in South Australia on this question. The ineptitude clearly has been on the part of the Federal Liberal Government -

Mr Sinclair:

– The Liberal Government of South Australia has done an admirable job; I quite agree.


– He is obviously a member of your Party, Mr Deputy Speaker. How long will he keep on with this?

Mr Sinclair:

– As long as the honourable member likes to reply.


– Order! The Minister for Shipping and Transport has spoken already and will have the chance to speak in reply when he closes the second reading debate. I call the honourable member for Hawker.


– Statements have been made in this House and in the South Australian Parliament condemning this Government for its failure to connect Adelaide to the standard gauge railway system. Adelaide is the last capital city which is still not connected with the other capital cities by a standard gauge railway link. This is having disastrous effects upon the development and commerce of South Australia. Again 1 agree with the remarks passed by the honourable member for Newcastle and I believe that the view that I will express is the view shared by the great majority of people in South Australia: Despite the fact that the Commonwealth Railways is ready to proceed with the construction of this project, the top and crucial priority ought to have been given to the link from Adelaide to Port Pirie. The only reason why this proposed project is not proceeding at this time is the ineptitude of this Government to complete the survey necessary to undertake the construction of that vital link. lt ought to be remembered that the initial necessity for the concept of standardisation of Australian railway gauges was a vision foreseen by the Chifley Labor Government. lt not only acted constructively towards its implementation but indeed laid the basic foundation - the factual and necessary data - by setting up what 1 understand was the first and the only national inquiry into rail standardisation. I refer to the inquiry headed by Sir Harold Clapp, the report of which was presented to this Parliament in 1945. I think it is appropriate to pay some tribute to the then Minister for Transport and External Territories, the honourable Eddie Ward. The Chifley Labor Government went further when it entered into an agreement for the implementation of rail standardisation in South Australia. This agreement was signed and . ratified in October 1949. 1 would like to quote some references made to the agreement in 1949 to show how it was received in SA. An article in the ‘Advertiser’ of 21st October 1949 states:

An agreement between the Commonwealth and South Australia for the carrying out of a £24m rail gauge standardisation scheme in South Australia was signed today by Mr Chifley and the South Australian Premier (Mr Playford).

The agreement is substantially the same as that drawn up under the previous joint CommonwealthState arrangement, except that the financial provisions are changed. £17m Federal Share. The estimated Commonwealth share is £17m to be spent over a minimum of 8 years.

The agreement guarantees the conversion of most of the South Australian railway system io the standard A foot 8i inches gauge and the completion of’ the North-South line. It does not cover the electrification of Adelaide suburban lines which is regarded as a matter for the Slate Government.

Mr Kelly:

– Has that anything to do with the Bill?


– lt might not have anything to do with the Bill. The following statement appeared in the ‘Advertiser’ of South Australia on 26th October 1949: . . Government proposed to push ahead with the project in the near future, but thai did not mean that all types of the work would be undertaken straight away. He could not see why an early start could not be made with earthworks. lt wa<> clearly understood in 1949, as I see it. that the project would commence within 12 months. We are still waiting for rail standardisation at this point crf time. There has not been one sleeper laid to implement rail standardisation in South Australia.

Mr Sinclair:

– The 1949 agreement was to standardise the railway line but there was no commitment as to the time at which the standardisation would commence.


– For your information, Mr Minister, there were statements made in the House of Assembly in South Australia to the effect that it was anticipated that the work would commence within 12 months.

Mr Charles Jones:

– But in principle it was adopted.


– The principle was that it would be adopted but it has failed to be adopted, lt is quite obvious that over the past 20 years, despite all the confident predictions and sincerity of the governments since 1949, the fact remains that not one sleeper has been laid and when it is laid it will be to link us to the standard gauge line where the measure of benefits will be least effective in the total concept of rail standardisation in South Australia. The obvious and glaring factor in the failure to bring rail stardardisation to South Australia, since the dismissal of the Chifley Labor Government in 1949, has been the Commonwealth’s ineptitude, procrastination and lack of interest in the progress, welfare and development vital to the people of South Australian responsibility for which has been vested in 2 decades of consecutive Liberal Party government. This is the reason why we have not made any move in South Australia.

To sum up, I say that while we on this side of the House support the Bill and will do all possible to ensure its swift passage, I cannot commend the Government on this measure. Its record on the question of rail standardisation is a national shame. We on this side of the House will continue to prod this Government as a matter of urgency to ensure that the Adelaide-Port Pirie link will be constructed as soon as possible. We do so in the full knowledge that not only will it play a vital role in the economic development of South Australia, but it is a valuable and necessary contribution to this nation’s defence. I support the Bill.


– I will not be very Long in my remarks on this Bill but I do want to refer to a point which 1 undertook to raise when 1 replied to an interjection by the Minister for Shipping and Transport (Mr Sinclair) during the debate held earlier this week on the Australian Industry Development Corporation Bill. The point concerns the priorities which the Commonwealth Government gives to a few selected enterprises within Australia. The Minister may recall that I mentioned the other night that some time in 1963 a by-election was held for the Federal electorate of Grey consequent upon the death of Mr Russell and at that time the then Minister for Shipping and Transport, Mr Opperman, expressed some sympathy for the project of constructing a railway link between Port Augusta and Whyalla. This is a fairly important matter to the people of Whyalla just for their own convenience. If they want to go from Whyalla to Adelaide by public transport they have to travel by an Ansett bus from Whyalla to Port Augusta, use a standard gauge railway line from Port August to Port Pirie, and then travel on a broad gauge rail to Adelaide. That was the position and 1 think it is still the same.

Mr Jacobi:

– Yes, it is.


– There was a pretty good case for constructing this line from Port Augusta to Whyalla if only to meet the convenience of the people who wanted to travel by public transport from Whyalla to Adelaide. However, after the Grey by-election was held in 1963 this matter was pretty rapidly forgotten. It is of interest to note that from 1949 a success on of South Australian governments has been trying to get the line standardised from Adelaide to Port Pirie. The various governments rightly pointed out that the other mainland capital cities in Australia were being connected by the standard gauge network. Adelaide has been the only C tv excluded. In fact up until the introduction of this Bill there had been no real undertaking that such a project would be carried out at any time. Then a major change occurred. The Broken Hill Pty Co. Ltd decided that it would send its steel from Whyalla to the eastern seaboard of Australia by rail rather than by sea. Overnight this matter became top priority with the

Commonwealth Government. What are the implications of this? The Commonwealth Government is prepared to build a rail head from Whyalla to Port Augusta for the convenience of the BHP company but it is not prepared to do anything for the ordinary people of Whyalla.

Furthermore, the construction of a line from Whyalla to Port Augusta has assumed greater priority than has the line from Adelaide to Port Pirie. I appreciate that there are certain technical difficulties associated with the construction of the standard gauge line from Adelaide to Crystal Brook but nevertheless I think this reveals an extraordinary set of priorities. Immediately BHP expressed an interest in shipping its products to the eastern seaboard by rail, this matter received top priority with the Commonwealth Government. This is just another example of how large monopolistic interests - and this is a genuine monopolistic interest in Australia - are given precedence over the interests of the ordinary people of Australia. This is only one example of the public patronage that is being given to this large company. I think that anybody in Austral/a who has taken a passing interest in the oil pricing policies of this Government is aware that the oil pricing scheme which the Commonwealth Government has negotiated negotiated with Esso-BHP is the economic scandal of the 20th century.

I am not opposing this bill but 1 do think it is a rather sad commentary on the attitude of the present Commonwealth Government that patronage to selected large private enterprises is given preference over the interests of the ordinary people of Australia.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

In Committee

The Bill

Mr CHARLES JONES (Newcastle) [I2.J0J - I should like to ask the Minister for Shipping and Transport (Mr Sinclair) some questions for the purposes of the record and so that we may know how costs have been arrived at. I will not deal with the operating costs and depreciation costs as shown in the original report of .lune 1966, but 1 think we should have some information from the Minister about the total revenue and operating costs as indicated in the December 1969 report which discloses that operating costs of $147,720 and depreciation costs of $140,000 were charged against the railway. I have gone through the figures but I cannot work out how the Minister arrives at a profit of $564, which represents a return of 7.2% on capital. That figure of 7.2% cannot be related to the cost of the construction of the line, neither is it a 7.2% return on revenue after allowing for operating costs. It is not 7.2% of the $5,759,000 figure which was given as the cost of the railway and $2,085,000 for rolling stock. I should like the Minister to indicate how the figure of 7.2% return on capital was arrived at. 1 should like to know also where maintenance charges fit into this. Are they a charge against the depreciation figure of $140,000? Are they included in the operating costs of $147,720? As we know from normal railway procedure the usual custom is to have a gang working continuously on maintaining the track and another gang working on maintaining bridges, level crossings and that sort of thing and also maintaining the railway stations, including buildings and platforms. Where does the maintenance charge appear? Is it a cost against depreciation or a charge against the operating of the railway? Are the wages of the gangs and the material that they use part of the operating costs?. Further, how is the capital debt treated? Is interest charge on the money advanced? Are the interest charges dealt with as a separate item altogether. Are interest and repayment charges part of the operating costs of the railway? 1 should like some additional information from the Minister on these subjects. 1 realise that because of the fog over Canberra there are transport difficulties, departmental officials have not arrived here, and this information is not immediately available. So perhaps the Minister will, at some later stage, make a statement whereby the information can be incorporated in Hansard.

Minister for Shipping and Transport · New England · CP

– My understanding is that maintenance and interest charges are included within the operating figures that the honourable mem ber has mentioned. The honourable member specifically wants to know the basis of the calculations for the return of 7.2% on capital. I understand that there is some complication in the relationship of the return to the amount spent which, apparently, is affected by the fact that the revenue figure represents total revenue to Commonwealth Railways from Whyalla traffic. It includes trade over the section from Port Augusta to Port Pirie. This figure is probably related to traffic which can be obtained only when the Whyalla line is built. There is some doubt as to its validity in respect of traffic being carried already. There are problems in relating existing traffic to the amount of traffic which proceeds by road at the moment from Whyalla and is transhipped. As I understand it there are 2 principal components in the capital cost, one relating to the civil engineering construction and the other to the rolling stock. I believe that there may well be some difficulty in establishing the relationship of the return to some percentage of the rolling stock. However, as the honourable member for Newcastle (Mr Charles Jones) has explained, due to the fog the officers who are qualified to give the technical answers to the honourable member are at present somewhere in the air above Canberra. Consequently I will undertake to give him a detailed reply when they arrive. The honourable member suggested that I could make a statement. I am happy to treat these questions as being on notice so that the replies can be incorporated in Hansard.


– There is one aspect of the Bill to which 1 draw the attention of the Minister for Shipping and Transport. Paragraph 4 (1.) of the schedule reads:

The Commonwealth will at its own expense erect along every boundary of the land over which the route of the railway lies a substantial fire resistant fence capable of preventing cattle, horses and sheep from entering within the said boundaries of the said land but shall not be liable to maintain or reconstruct any such fence.

Whose responsibility will it be to maintain or reconstruct the fence? Will it be that of the South Australian Railways Department, the Commonwealth Government or the private land owner?

Minister for Shipping and Transport · New England · CP

– My understanding is that this clause was included at the specific request of the South Australian Government. I am not aware who owns the land that runs alongside the railway line. My belief is that the Commonwealth undertook to erect the fence initially and that thereafter subsequent maintenance and replacement would be at the cost of the land holder whose property was adjacent to the fence.

Bill agreed to.

Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.

Third Reading

Bill (on motion by Mr Sinclair) - by leave - read a third time.

page 2657


Second Reading

Debate resumed from 19th March (vide page 652), on motion by Mr Bowen:

That the Bill be now read a second time.


– This measure puts the assistance to teachers colleges on a triennium basis as is assistance to universities. By all the standards of the past it makes the assistance to teachers colleges extremely generous. This enables the States to plan. It is a significant measure advancing teacher education. The only criticism J make is that the Commonwealth intervention in this field of tertiary education would have transformed education if it had been carried through a decade or more ago when I recollect it being urged by the honourable member for Wills (Mr Bryant) and others. It is curious how the honourable member for Wills used to be regarded as something of a nuisance when he raised these subjects and his nuisance interventions have now become orthodoxy, which is very often the case, of course, in politics.

The Commonwealth action in this field is so important that the Commonwealth should take action to press the States to ensure that these colleges issue teachers’ certificates which, like university degrees, are nationally recognised. These certificates should relate to a form of teacher educa tion which ensures that their professional capacity is remedial for children who are in need of remedial teaching - a weakness of the Australian educational system. The Commonwealth should use its influence to see that teacher education is truly professional. The characteristic of a profession is that the professional man may diagnose the condition of his client or the condition of his patient and prescribe the course of action that is needed. He has the training and the standing which give him the independence to do this. For a teacher such a training is more than a training to teach a curriculum. The corollary of a professional status is the nationally recognised qualification to which I referred. This assistance to education is crucial because the teaching profession’s quality determines the quality of the rest of education.

The Commonwealth might further assist the States to ensure not only that teacher training lakes place in adequate colleges hut that the course of training should be of sufficient duration for the teacher to know the significance of his work. In other words, he must arrive at some philosophy of education. This is not a luxury - it is essential. The education of the teacher must be broad, even if the teacher specialises. The buildings should have facilities to enable the teacher to be trained in the croation and use of teaching aids. The buildings should enable the teachers to be trained in library techniques, and they should have the facilities to provide for training in diagnostic tests and diagnostic technique so that the teacher can really assist his students. Our teachers colleges need also to be broadened to train teachers to deal with migrant children. These colleges should have language laboratories for this purpose. The Commonwealth should strongly encourage the training of teachers for Aboriginals and for Papua and New Guinea. Our schools are not adequately equipped to draw out the abilities of youth because the community is largely indifferent to them.

The Government, in endeavouring to ensure that teacher training moves to a new plane, is taking a vital step. If it moves further to use its good offices with the States to get all 7 governments to make a true profession out of teaching, to ensure higher national standards and to link the teachers colleges with university education faculties, it will be carrying teacher education forward to its next phase.


– My remarks will not occupy very much time. I agree with the honourable member for Fremantle (Mr Beazley) that this contribution by the Government is extremely generous, particularly in view of the fact that Australia, like almost every country in the world these days, sees a most explosive position in regard to the provision of education and, of course, the most vital elements of all in education are those who teach. I would like to draw attention to one or two matters that affect more precisely the remote areas such as the one that 1 represent.

Anyone familiar with these areas will know the demands that are made on the teaching profession, particularly on the young teacher who is trained in metropolitan and provincial areas and who is sent out into these remote areas. Such a teacher sometimes has quite an emotional and psychological problem. I could give the House examples of the tragedies that have occurred in very remote centres where teachers are not specifically equipped in face up to what is rather a demanding way of life. I feel that the Federal Government would do well to confer with State governments in regard to the psychological equipment and special training that are needed for people who have to go into these areas. These areas have quite an impact on teachers who have just come out of the no-mans land of adolescence and who have been trained in more sophisticated areas. Of course, I suppose a great majority of them are young people who have been born and reared in these areas. So there are peculiar demands on teachers when they get out into the more rugged parts of the country. As I have said, this change has sometimes resulted in quite tragic consequences, particularly in the case of young men. I shall not go into that minutely on this occasion because I have another matter to which I wish to draw attention. 1 do not want by remarks to be misconstrued for one moment, but the most recent addition to my State of Queensland in the educational field has been the estab lishment of a teachers training college in the city of Townsville. I have a great sentimental and geographical attachment to Townsville and I very proudly regard it as my capital. It is a wonderful city. But 1 do think there was not a particular display of logic or common sense when this college was established in the city of Townsville. I mention this to bring out a particular point. The demands of a teachers training college are such that we try to attract to them people who are particularly familiar with the environment or particularly suited to specialise in a particular environment.

We have a very special environment in northern Australia and one would logically, I imagine, establish a teachers training college - one of the essential facets of education generally - in a town that is renowned for education, if such a town is offering. In northern Queensland this very town was offering. I refer to the city of Charters Towers which has most of the major secondary schools in the part of Queensland to which I am referring. If you like, it is the Armidale of Queensland. I think most definitely that this teachers training college should have been established in Charters Towers. I say this with all due respect to the very beautiful tropical city of Townsville. But it is no good talking about the past.

I would just say that if we are to provide huge amounts of money we should have regard to the people who are supplying the funds. I tried to make this point yesterday when I pointed out that if we object to certain disruptive elements - strange odd elements who are so publicised in university life these days - and if we protest we are doing so because we are footing the bill. This money is provided by the Federal Government, the taxpayer, you and I and everyone in this chamber. Hence we have an obligation to evaluate the situation and make sure that guidelines are set down. Even though we do not want to encroach upon the sacred and sovereign rights of the States I feel that we should at least evaluate and regard these situations. Hence, should there be any further contributions by the Federal Government to State facilities in my State and should these contributions involve north Queensland, I most certainly say that the great and intense educational centre of Charters Towers should be given full consideration. This is not being parochial; there is a principle involved.

The establishment of a teachers training college at Charters Towers brings in the question of decentralisation, Mr Deputy Speaker, of which you yourself are such an ardent advocate, We must decentralise, too, from provincial centres. We must take this matter to its logical consequence. Hence, we must regard these situations in relation to decentralisation.

While talking about decentralisation, Mr Deputy Speaker, 1 read something recently about your own State of New South Wales. I mention that the State of Queensland is a classical example of success, to a point, on this matter of decentralisation. Probably it has been taken to a greater extreme than any other State in the Commonwealth. But your own State of New South Wales, Mr Deputy Speaker, has recently proved, I believe by a survey, that it has set out to create special instruments and special bodies to concentrate on and give their specialised attention to decentralisation, particularly in the category of education. The survey showed they had encouraged, deliberately, various enterprises, including educational facilities to participate. The survey asked a particular question. The question was this: If you had again to choose where you would establish your enterprise or factory would you choose the country or one of the large cities? The answers showed that the people concerned were 100% satisfied with what they had done. So 1 think this principle must be applied to the establishment of such facilities as teacher training colleges. I find when 1 look at the Bill that 2 projects are earmarked for Queensland. Had they not been extensions of existing colleges 1 would have had to protest even against the activities of my own Government. I am pleased to see they are just extensions of the existing colleges at Mount Gravatt and Kelvin Grove. 1 think both sides of the House do not have an argument here. We greatly appreciate the fact that the increase has been from $24m to $30m in this tri.ennium and I am sure it w l) add greatly to the wealth of culture and education in this nation.

Mr Lionel Bowen:

– I too would like to say that the principle established in the Bill, namely, the support for the building of teachers colleges in the various States, is to be applauded. Nevertheless, the provision of this money is not in itself sufficient because there seems to be plenty of evidence to clearly indicate that despite the fact that this money will be made available and the States will make good use of it, there is still a crisis in education. From the New South Wales point of view I want briefly to make these points. New South Wales has a certain number of teachers but does it have problems which affect the pupilteacher ratio? lt has. The number of resignations in the New South Wales teacher service has increased by 50%. The course is. quite commendably, to be increased from a 2-year to a 3-year course. Those 2 factors in a nutshell mean that there are fewer teachers available now than heretofore. Although this Bill will help in some way, the crisis is getting worse.

Further, there are plenty of applicants to become teachers - many youngsters who are eligible for training - but not sufficient vacancies. At the beginning of this year in New South Wales no fewer than 2,000 missed out on teachers’ scholarships. I think the real matter now is what should be done at a Commonwealth level in conjunction with the States to ensure that sufficient teachers are trained and trained adequately. What should be done now to combat the crisis caused by teachers leaving the profession? Trainee teachers are now demonstrating, quite rightly, about the paucity of their pay. They may well give away their initial ambition to become teachers because of the hardship they have to undergo in completing their training. The provision of facilities for teacher training is part and parcel of Commonwealth-State relations. Mr Cutler, the New South Wales Minister for Education, has said: ‘I would love to do more. 1 would be happy to provide these facilities which we need but I have not got the money. I can get it from only one source, namely, amounts given under the tax reimbursement formula.”

This is a commendable piece of legislation in that the finance is provided as an unmatched grant. A lot of grants given by the Commonwealth in the past have never been of much value because they had to be on a $1 of $1 basis and the States could never get their $1. In this case we applaud this Bill, but the crisis is still there. 1 want to make this point, and I do express it with some knowledge. The allocation of money to New South Wales in respect of these projects has been a little tardy. I understand the costs of the projects have increased since the original estimates. The States will have to find more money than they have been given to complete the work and this itself creates another problem. The States are reluctant to undertake work because they will have further budgetary difficulties if they need more money to complete these colleges. On their behalf one would like to make a plea that if the cost of completion is greater than foreshadowed an additional subsidy will be given. In many cases - not in this one - the State governments are fed up to the teeth with the Commonwealth authorities trying to look at every detail of the plan - where a window should go, where a corridor should go, where the toilets and washroom should be. It should be remembered that the State authorities have excellent architects to design the buildings. Those people have plenty of knowledge from past experience. But I understand that all plans must be forwarded to Canberra where they have to be checked by somebody. This causes interminable delays. It has happened more than once. In this case the remarks are not directly appropriate but they are worth mentioning because such a situation could well be avoided.

The States need the money and there is no need for further supervision. They have the responsibility and it should be borne in mind that they have the qualifications adequately to expend that money in a proper fashion. New South Wales has a lot of problems associated with the pupilteacher ratio which, while it is improving, is not improving fast enough. The Scott report has indicated to the New South Wales authorities that the teacher-pupil ratio should be reduced again, so more teachers will be needed. To get them you have to get these training colleges established. Without directly talking about State aid, problems nevertheless exist in nongovernment schools; in fact, there is a crisis there also. Some responsible authority should examine the problems associated with the education of our children. Nobody wants to fight a youngster; there are plenty of fights going on with adults. But, from a national point of view, there should be an immediate investigation of the broad needs in education so that every youngster, no matter what school he attends, gets a proper education.

At the moment, because of the existing disparity, parents who are able to spend more money on their youngsters perhaps get better results. This situation has to be recognised. This is a competitive world. If teachers want to undertake tertiary training they may not be accepted because there are not sufficient vacancies at the tertiary level. When one looks at the statistics one will find that the numbers entering the tertiary field are coming, in the main, from the more affluent areas. Certainly this is so in Sydney. So we have the problem that in middle class or poor areas there are fewer opportunities for youngsters with ability to obtain sufficient education and fewer opportunities to attend university. This situation should be examined at the Commonwealth level with a view to overcoming the kind of problem which the Premier of New South Wales complained about when he came to Canberra in 1965 to negotiate a better tax reimbursement formula. In the New South Wales Legislative Assembly in September last year, referring to the 1965 Premiers Conference, he said:

At that conference there were 3 Liberal Premiers, 2 Labors and 1 Country Party. When the Prime Minister of the day had heard the Premiers for 2 days make submissions on many matters he stood up and said: ‘Well, gentlemen, I have heard you at length. My plane leaves in an hour’, and that was it.

Mr N H Bowen:

– That was Chifley, was it not?

Mr Lionel Bowen:

– That was 1965, Mr Minister. I thought your knowledge was better than that. You should do a bit better next time. The Premier’s argument was with the Commonwealth, not with the Minister for Education and Science - we will exempt him from this one. His argument was with the Prime Minister and the Treasurer. He said that his pleas were denied. But a remarkable thing happened. He said:

The Senate election came along and when we were told in June 1967 we could not get any money, a few months later when there was to be a Senate election there was no difficulty in finding $1 00m for particular works.

There was no worry about any inflationary effect then. I hope the present Treasurer (Mr Bury) takes note of these remarks. He said that one-tenth of that amount would be of immense help to him in New South Wales for works associated with health, education and so on. This is the problem, is it not? The Commonwealth has the national responsibility for collecting all income tax, and we dole back to the States a rather insignificant amount. An amount of $550 is taken from every man, woman and child in Australia, yet New South Wales receives back from the Commonwealth $90 per head of population to carry out all of its responsibities. In the field of education alone, the State Government of New South Wales is spending on the State schools $60 per pupil. That is not enough. lt should be spending half as much again. Of course no financial consideration is given to the non-government schools.

In looking at where responsibility lies, why would not education get a top priority? To use a better term, why would it not be the first line of defence? What opportunity of progress has any youngster if he is not given assistance and given every opportunity to have the maximum education? I heard the Minister for Education and Science say earlier that he has to look at the available resources. That is true. But it is not much good the Commonwealth putting just a toe in the water, in the sense of giving a little bit here and a little bit there. It ought to jump right into the problem and have a look at how it can be solved. As honourable members know, being in public life, they are badgered day and night by parents, citizens, friends, school teachers, trainee teachers and pupils for a solution to the problem in their school, their university or their teachers’ college. Anyone can say that the amount of money being spent by the Australian nation is far too little. Nevertheless, one has to say that we are amongst the highest taxed people in the world, particularly those people in the middle income class. There is something radically wrong with the administration of education, bearing in mind that State taxes in New South Wales are amongst the highest in Australia. It should not be thought that that State is not getting its dollar from its citizens.


– Order! The honourable member should address his remarks more closely to the subject matter of the Bill.

Mr Lionel Bowen:

-I accept your ruling, Mr Deputy Speaker. But the point is that this is an exercise in CommonwealthState relations. A grant is being made by the Commonwealth to the States. As I have tried to indicate to the House, the Premier of New South Wales feels that he can do more if he can get more money. I have indicated that while the Commonwealth is prepared to take the plaudits for giving this grant - and it is entitled to do so because it has initiated the grant - nevertheless it should not think that the problems in education will be solved. The plea 1 am making is for an immediate investigation into the needs of all schools in all Slates so we can determine what money should be given to the States for education.

Mr Hunt:

– This is already going on.

Mr Lionel Bowen:

-I know it is going on. But it is too late at this stage to say that it will keep going on. 1 believe that a survey will show that to satisfy the needs of the States the Commonwealth will have to make available half as much again. That is well known. But the Government attitude is: We will wait until the survey comes out and we will then think about it when drafting the Budget after next. I have asked the Prime Minister (Mr Gorton) what offer he has made to the States under the tax reimbursement formula, but he cannot tell me. These grants are already cut and dried from the point of view of the next Budget. The Government cannot tell me that it has not decided the details of the next Budget. The tax reimbursement formula is virtually fixed. The States will get something extra, but costs arc increasing. So next year there will be more youngsters trying to become teachers, but there will be no opportunity for them to do so because insufficient colleges have been established.

The Commonwealth’s help is commendable because there is a crisis. It must be borne in mind that if there were not a crisis the Commonwealth would not be helping at all. But the Commonwealth should not think that because it has given some help the crisis is being solved. It is only being ameliorated by this assistance.

The crisis will get worse because insufficient money has been given. This assistance will be over a triennium. The prospect of providing further assistance should be looked at before that period expires and a determination made of what is a fair proportion of revenue to give to the States to ensure that a Stale can build teachers’ colleges to take all those wishing to become teachers, and to ensure that it can educate all youngsters. We should not have the position we have at the moment where the Commonwealth takes all moneys from the taxpayer and gives back only a certain amount to the States under the tax reimbursement formula, and where we then have to have this type of legislation, commendable as it is, to provide additional assistance.

The crisis is getting worse. More money should be given. We cannot afford any further delay in having a survey made of how many teachers are needed and how much money should be given to them. One weakness in this sort of legislation is that the grant has been made for capital expenditure. No money is being given to maintain the colleges or to help pay the salaries of both teachers and trainees. Salaries will be another problem. If the States are to create more opportunities by granting trainee scholarships, they have to be provided with the money for the trainees and their teaching facilities. Additional funds should be given for that purpose and the grant should not be limited to capital expenditure. For those reasons, while one has to support the Bill because it provides a benefit, one at least makes the plea that much more serious consideration be given urgently to the needs of the teaching profession, particularly in New South Wales.


– I think it may be fairly stated that this Bill is to provide massive aid for education. From what honourable members opposite have said hitherto, I do not think they would radically disagree with the word ‘massive’. Certainly under the terms of this grant of S30m the position in respect of teachers’ colleges and their bricks and mortar will be vastly improved. At the same time as that is known, I would like to make it clear, as I think has already been suggested elsewhere, that this measure should be seen as part of an education programme of much wider connotation than mere bricks and mortar. It is not the most important part of the programme, although we recognise that without the bricks and mortar it would be a little difficult to do anything. At the same time it is well known that a good teacher can operate effectively in a tin shed if necessary. But a palace is not much use without a good teacher or lecturer as the case may be.

It is fairly clear that the States are as receptive to aid for education as they are to aid for any other purpose. Quite clearly they will not in any way be disinclined to receive this aid. They are, of course, much less inclined to accept any control which goes with such aid. I understand that this is more so in the field of secondary and primary education - although the need has not very much arisen yet - than in education at the tertiary level.

The honourable member for KingsfordSmith (Mr Lionel Bowen) in the major part of his speech drew attention to some other areas of education not dealt with in this Bill. I can only suggest that, while what he said may have some element of truth and justice, there is not very much point at this stage in trying to bring in the whole field of education beyond and below the level dealt with in the Bill. If we do, we find that the honourable member for KingsfordSmith says that he wants a load of aid in other areas of education. He does not want higher taxation. Quite frankly, it is beyond my comprehension how we can achieve that in the simple way which he suggests.

There is only one college in Tasmania to which this Bill applies. We do not in this matter have quite the problem that the honourable member for Kennedy (Mr Katter) has in his State. He referred to decentralisation as something which he thought should have operated more widely in his State. The college at issue in Tasmania is the Launceston Teachers College. It is highly regarded by the residents of that city, particularly because of the absence of other institutions of a university character. The building - it is already substantially apparent on the ground - is a notable improvement on the physical environment of the old Teachers College. I understand from people who work in the College that there are some imperfections despite the fact that the appearance and architecture in the broad are quite admirable. Among the developments is a console control of media. Apparently this is a notable achievement which has already been referred to in an Australian Council for Educational Research report. It is to be hoped that the intensity of planning by people on the spot and others, including the Commonwealth, will continue in other places and will achieve the same useful results.

I do not imply that the total facilities of buildings such as the one I have referred to are necessarily used at their utmost efficiency. It has long been known, and more recently recognised in the community, that considerable capital stands in university and allied tertiary buildings, and perhaps others, outside the offices of research workers and other people of that kind and that often they are not used very much. There is an increasing tendency in the community to use them more, to recognise that some of the halls and lecture theatres may be used by associated, affiliated or interested public bodies which have some interest in those buildings.

I understand that the library at the Launceston Teachers College is little, if at all, used at night by students. I understand the reason for this is that the students’ lodgings are scattered to the four winds. This point relates specifically to the discussion we had last night concerning the desirability of residential accommodation close to the university concerned. While we might deplore the lack of incentive which does cause some students not to use library facilities at night I know of other areas, particularly in the university context, where libraries are used greatly at night. Presumably some of these latter people face the same residential difficulties. It is entirely relevant that some people should hold that in the piority of developments in these colleges it might well be better to think in terms of hostel buildings before gymnasiums and even administrative blocks and the like. Certainly some people hold that view in relation to the Launceston Teachers College.

I indicated in my opening remarks that I think this measure is a great, contribution to education in the broad and to teachers colleges in particular, but to me the structural features of education are much more important. Obviously honourable members taking part in this debate are aware that there is a great need for more and for better trained teachers. The Martin Committee of 1961 spoke of a need for 51,600 primary teachers by 1969. By 1969 that estimated but I think fairly accurate need was 53,400. This represents an increase of about 3i% over the estimate of some 8 years previously. As for secondary teachers, the figures were rather more diverse. In 1961 the Martin Committee estimated that 35,000 secondary teachers would be needed. By the time we reached 1969 the number was over 42,000. This represents an increase of over 20% - quite a substantial rise above the predicted figure. Quite clearly these figures reveal a need to train more teachers who in turn may train more students further down the ladder.

A feature of the second reading speech of the Minister for Education and Science was that he drew attention to 10% at least of places in these colleges being made available for private students, that is students not bonded to State Education Departments. I would like to draw further attention to this point by suggesting that this is an admirable feature of the provision of improved accommodation designed to increase the number of trainee teachers. There is a general move these days from 2 years to 3 years for primary teacher training courses. Again this involves a considerable increase in the necessity for accommodation. As this generates it will have to be taken into account by the planners. Doubtless they already have provided for it as best they can.

None of the things I have said touches on the quality of students. This is a massive subject in itself. All these brick and mortar developments, even the structural changes, do not necessarily ensure that the quality of students entering these courses in teachers colleges is all that it might be. I know that some people who lecture to the students believe that their ability to think is somewhat wanting. If there is any point to this it is that education is a continuum. I think that in that sense I am agreeing, in part, with the honourable member for KingsfordSmith. The question arises as to how better to fit the students for the role they will play or act in these teachers colleges and when they go out as teachers. I prefer to leave this question to another time because as I said when referring to other people raising this point, this is not the place to discuss the whole broad field of education. Certainly the point should be made that the continuum character of this vital field of our life and learning is of interest to all of us.

Another allied facet of this matter which should be given attention is the provision for teacher training in colleges of advanced education of $500,000 in Tasmania, $3.2m in New South Wales and S1.5m in Queensland. These sums, as I have indicated, are allied to the provision of $30m for teacher training colleges and should not, and doubtless will not, be forgotten by those States. This raises another educational issue about which, I have no doubt, the Minister could give me some assurance. I know that some people, including myself, are a little unclear as to what might be the relationship between teacher training colleges and advanced colleges of education. Again this is an absolutely structural feature underlying the whole concept and philosophy of making available this massive aid to teachers colleges in Australia.

I want to conclude because the sitting soon will be suspended for lunch. This is indeed a major programme. The Minister drew attention to the 25% increase in this triennium. The honourable member for Fremantle (Mr Beazley) drew attention to the fact that this assistance is now on a triennial basis. I agree with him that this is a great thing. This 25% increase over the $24m made available for the previous triennium substantiates what I said previously. 1 commend the Minister and his officers for making available $llm for each of the first 2 years. This certainly will facilitate the planning of the States in these fields, because they will have a fairly large slice of the cake in the early parts of the triennium.

I commend the whole of the Minister’s second reading speech on this Bill, except perhaps, his secretary’s adoption of the now scientific term ‘program’ - without the final letters ‘me’. However, on consulting the dictionary I found that this is of classical origin; so perhaps he is fulfilling his dual role as Minister for Education and Minister for Science in an admirable fashion. I trust that this Bill will be seen as a significant development of national education. Despite the imperfections of what we may have in other fields and the fact that we are not able to tax ourselves out of existence, I trust that shortly we will see other areas of education develop in similar fashion under this Government.

Sitting suspended from 1 to 2 p.m.


- Mr Speaker, the Bill involves an increased expenditure for capital grants to the States for the provision of teachers colleges. The increase is to the extent of 25% over the previous triennium, when $24m was offered to the States. Under the provisions of this Bill $30m is to be offered. This assistance will of course toe appreciated by the State governments. However, there are some comments I would like to make about the expenditure and the limitations of expenditure. Something has been said already about the fact that the increase represents a 25% increase over the last 3 years. That is very true. On the other hand, exactly how much does this mean in additional spending power for the States that are receiving this money? I think that is an important issue, because after all the cost of living and, in particular, the cost of building has been skyrocketing over the last 3 years. A good deal of the increased grant to the States would simply cover the increase in the cost of building the colleges. So I do not think a great deal of pride can be taken in this increase in expenditure.

There are some comments I would like to make in reference to the second reading speech of the Minister for Education and Science (Mr N. H. Bowen). On what basis has the grant of $30m for the next 3 years been made? The Minister in his second reading speech said:

This increase is designed to assist the States with their teacher education programmes at a reasonable and realistic level.

I want to know exactly what is meant by the term ‘reasonable and realistic’. Is the Minister satisfied with the amount that the States are spending at the present moment? Does he mean by ‘reasonable and realistic level’ one of these things: A realistic and reasonable level in terms of what the States are prepared to pay; a realistic and reasonable level in terms of what the States are able to pay; or a realistic and reasonable level in terms of what is needed to cope with the vast shortages of teachers in the States? There is obviously a very great need for increased teacher college accommodation in Victoria, because that State is passing through its worst crisis in relation to the provision of teaching staff.

There was in the Melbourne ‘Age’ on 21st May a report from the Victorian Teachers Union which showed just how severe this crisis would become by the 1970s. I believe that with the present allotment of money by the Commonwealth and the State the students of Victoria simply will not be able to get enough teachers. The article in the Melbourne ‘Age’ states:

The union estimates that by 1973 teacher colleges will be about 2,000 teachers down on the numbers who should be in training. It warns that the second generation post-war baby boom children - due to hit the schools in the 1970s - will make it impossible for the Education Department to adequately staff schools later in the decade. The union claims the Department needs to start work immediately on at least 4 new teacher colleges to match the expected demand. The secretary of the union’s teachers’ college staff branch (Mr B. Costin) said yesterday that teacher college enrolments would have to be boosted by 5,500 - to a total of 18,500 trainees - within the next 5 years. Yet the Education Department plans to provide only an extra 1,250 places by 1973,’ he said. Present Education Department plans provide for $20 million being spent over five years, but if we are to have any hope of meeting the second baby boom at least $30 million needs to be spent on teacher colleges in the next three years.’

This is the point that I want to make: Exactly what does the term ‘reasonable and realistic’ mean? I think the only way you could argue that the term has any meaning is to say that it is in comparison with what the State governments need in order to provide sufficient staff. There is another report that points out just what the situation is here. Again it is a report from the Victorian Teachers Union. The situation in Victoria at the present moment is already chronic. There simply is not enough staff. There is not enough qualified staff, and there is not even enough under or unqualified staff. The Victorian Teachers Union made a survey of the position of science and mathematics teachers in Victoria. Incidentally, the union had been informed by the Victorian Education Department that high schools alone in Victoria were short of 250 mathematics and science teachers this year. Those were the official figures; and official figures are quite often somewhat different from figures which are taken unofficially by the professional organisations. The VTU gave an estimate that in fact the shortage was 450 teachers. This indicates what the present situation is. It is a fact - I have seen it myself - that throughout Victoria there are science and maths classes that do not have a teacher at all. There are some that do not have enough teachers, and many of the teachers are not fully qualified. This is a very important point at all levels of secondary education, whether it is at the first form or at the sixth form. There are classes that are overcrowded by 30 or 40 at first form level, and it is simply impossible these days for those children to be taught. When a matriculation class has 20 or 30 more students than it should have, the effect on the child being taught in that class is disastrous. His chances of succeeding in the education system are tremendously reduced. So that is an explanation of what the situation is like in Victoria already. I would like the Minister for Education and Science to tell me exactly what is meant by the term ‘reasonable and realistic’.

The Minister stated in his second reading speech:

The amounts set out in the schedule to the Bill were determined after due consideration of the many important factors involved.

He stated that these are the following: The population of each State; the amount available to each State in the current triennium - I think he means by this the amount that the States have available already - and the amount of matched assistance that New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania are receiving for teacher education in Colleges of Advanced Education. The fourth point seems to be that the overriding considerations have been the needs of the States and the effectiveness of grants in meeting these needs. To deal with the last one first, what exactly are these needs? On what system does the Commonwealth Government plan ahead? Does it plan ahead at all? Has it got before it - and if so how long has it had before it - a scheme of exactly what the needs of a State of Australia will be for the next 3 years, 5 years or 10 years? Do we have any such figures? Have proposals been put forward by the States?

I believe that there have been investigations by the various State governments, and I believe that these reports have been presented to the Commonwealth Governmnt But the point there is that we as an Opposition are not in the position where we can say to the Miniser: ‘Look, we do not agree that this should be’, or, ‘That is fair enough’. If we do not have a more reasoned argument as to the needs of the States, how can we do our job as the Opposition? It is not just good enough to write a bland statement and say: The overriding considerations have been the needs of the States and the effectiveness of grants in meeting these needs.’ I think we have every right to be told in more detail exactly what the needs are. It is just not right to expect that the decisions which will affect the Australian people as a whole should be made entirely and solely by the Government. We have every right to speak up for the people in case the Government is not doing the job properly. The Opposition and the people of Australia simply are not told what the situation is. Unfortunately, this has happened far too much. It happens for too much in the States of Australia and it happens far too much in the Commonwealth. All that we are told is that expenditure has increased by such and such a figure over the last few years. Expenditure will multiply by such and such a figure over the next few years. But rarely are the Australian people told exactly what the need is and what has to be done. Unfortunately, too often we fall back on the old argument and say that there are great needs, unspecified as they are, and the only way to deal with them is to provide the finance through extra taxation. If the Government is prepared to say to the Australian people: ‘We need X qualified teachers if we are to give every young Australian child the full opportunuity to develop his innate potentiality’ and if it is prepared to argue this way for 3 years, the Australian people will not object to an increase in taxation if there are no other means of raising revenue. The Minister also said:

The need to improve the quality of the teaching force is central to the task of improving the quality of education generally, and these grants will enable the States to provide new and replacement teachers, educational facilities, and a good deal earlier than they could hope to do from their own resources.

If this is the case why is it that so many of the teachers organisations throughout Australia are complaining regularly and loudly that their standards are not being maintained, that not enough teachers are being trained and that, as there are insufficient teachers, more people are being brought in from outside to do a job which should be reserved for professional people. As this happens, the standard of teaching drops. And as the standard of teaching drops the status of the teacher drops, and it becomes a vicious circle.

Why is it, if the aim behind the Commonwealth’s expenditure on education is to improve the quality of the teaching force, that these organisations are complaining consistently? It is not just a matter of providing more teachers colleges. The Minister made some reference to the fact that the Commonwealth does spend money in other areas of education as well. That is quite true. It spends money on colleges of advanced education and universities. But he made the rather strange statement that the Commonwealth shares fully with the States. How one shares fully with the States I do not know, particularly in view of the obnoxious convention in reference to the provision of finances. I refer especially to the requirement by the Commonwealth that the major items of recurrent expenditure must be borne by the States. It does not matter whether it is for colleges of advanced education, teachers colleges, universities, or what it is, as long as the Government continues with this very difficult regulation that the States shall provide so much it will continue to have trouble. As I say, it is not good enough simply to provide extra finances for teachers colleges. We have to ensure that the existing facilities outside teachers colleges are fully used. Unfortunately, over the last few years there has been a shameful history of exclusion of people from universities and colleges of advanced education. We simply cannot get enough people trained and qualified to undertake teaching while the continual rationing of education in colleges of advanced education and universities continues.

There is one other problem about the Bill and that is that it is concerned solely with the provision of capital expenditure. Is is not about time that the Commonwealth sat down and started to survey the field of teacher education as a whole instead of just nibbling at one section of it - the provision of capital expenditure? Should it not start to implement some of the suggestions contained in the Martin report? After all, the Commonwealth has already infringed State rights - if that is the argument to be used to keep the Commonwealth out of teacher education policy - in the assistance it gives to colleges of advanced education and universities. Why do we not have a full scale tertiary education policy, not just one policy for one section and one for another section but for the 3 as a whole? Why have we not some sort of policy that embraces the whole system and some nationally organised body that could look at the whole 3 and say: Things are going well in this area. Things are not going quite so well in that area. In this area teacher education needs a special boost along.’? I do not know how that sort of co-ordination takes place, if it does take place. On what basis does the Commonwealth decide that universities at the present moment should have their finances depressed and colleges of advanced education have theirs boosted, while the teacher training institutions remain at a virtually static level? What sort of policy have we for supervising and co-ordinating the whole field of tertiary education? I think it is about time we did that. I think it is about time that we implemented some aspects of the Martin report.

Should the Commonwealth Parliament not be telling those States which are still laggard in implementing sections of the Martin report - for example with reference to autonomy for teachers colleges and a teacher education board - what to dcr? What are we doing to accelerate the movement by States to sever the teacher education authorities from the State departments? I do not think that we are doing enough. There has been some movement recently. In Victoria the Government, just about on the eve of an election, set out to introduce some changes. Those changes were not carried through. It is a testimony to the insignificance of teacher education. As it is, the propositions being put forward by the Victorian Government on the autonomy of teacher training institutions are a sham.

It is not being done in the true spirit of the Martin report. It is not a full scale autonomy.

There is one other aspect that we have to look at if we are to get teachers and hold on to them. We have to make their jobs as rewarding as possible. We should be providing all the facilities necessary to ensure that they get continued in-service training. The in-service training in Australian education systems is really a mockery. I understand that in the Victorian Education Department the amount that the Department spends on in-service training is equivalent to $1 a head. The amount of knowledge that a teacher has to absorb is accelerating every year. It embraces not just the subject matter that he is teaching; it embraces the method by which he is teaching, and the philosophy, psychology and practice of education. The teacher must keep up with all these things if he is to be an effective teacher. It costs thousands of dollars to train him. The way in which throughout this nation the intelligence and the resources of teachers are not being fully applied is incredible.

I want to deal with one other matter that concerns the Commonwealth. I spoke last night about external courses in Victoria and I said that it was most important that the facilities for external courses in that State be improved. One of the main reasons why country education is not comparable with city education and why the country student has only half the opportunity that the metropolitan student has to go to a university is that teachers in country areas suffer from discrimination. Teachers have to be encouraged to go to country areas and they have to be encouraged to stay there. At the present moment many teachers are reluctant to go to country areas because they cannot continue their education there. Some of them leave their country schools because they cannot continue their education. There are simply not enough facilities provided for external courses in Victoria. The country student is the victim of that policy.

I want to give the House a comparison of the situation in relation to external courses in Victoria. I would like to go into a little bit more detail on what I was speaking about last night.

Mr Brown:

– What was that?


– The honourable member can read it in Hansard. If we take the figures for 1969 we will see that in Victoria 178 students did external courses, in New South Wales the figure was 3,478, in Queensland it was 2,521, in South Australia it was 166, in Western Australia it was 309, and in Tasmania it was 167. If New South Wales can provide this sort of service to people outside the metropolitan area, including sick people, I believe that there will be hundreds of teachers - I am referring particularly to country teachers - who will be only too willing to take up courses if they are offered in Victoria.

We must look at what has been happening in New South Wales where the University of New England specialises in external courses. Firstly, I refer to what has been happening in Victoria over the last 3 years. The number of external courses being undertaken there has dropped. The number of external courses offered in 1967 was 360. In 1968, it was 245. In 1969, the figure was 178. All that we have so far for 1970 is an estimate. The estimate is that in Victoria, 185 external courses will be available in 1970, 190 in 1971 and 205 in 1972. It is when we compare this situation with the position in New South Wales that we see just how desperate it is.

A proposition has been put forward by the Victorian Government that $100,000 should be expended to increase the number of courses for external students. The offer has been made to Monash University. I point out that, at this stage, Monash University has not made any specific official statement on the subject as far as I can see. But a report in the Melbourne ‘Age’ of 19th May states that the request to provide these external courses was not received well at the University. The report continues:

The feeling among staff is that external studies will be more of a burden than an acquisition. The University has no building to use as an external study centre - it would need about $500,000 to set up suitable accommodation.

Honourable members can see that an offer of $100,000 in Victoria is not likely to warm the cockles of the heart of Monash University because such an offer does not deal with one of the most important problems which is the provision of a building to provide this service. I wish to make one further point about this amount of $100,000. It is this: The $100,000 may attract a matching grant from the Commonwealth Government and, as far as I can see, the Commonwealth subsidy would be $54,054 on the basis of a Commonwealth contribution of $1 for every $1.85 provided by the State. But the impression I have is that the granting of this extra money to Victoria will not be automatic by any means. I believe that the payment of this money would need to be approved by this Parliament through the passage of a Bill.

Exactly what benefit will be provided by this grant of $100,000, assuming that it attracts a Commonwealth grant? The formula adopted by the Australian University Commission for comparing categories of students in part time and external courses is that an external student attracts a recurrent expenditure of half that of a full time student. The 1965 formula provided a payment of $1,200 for a full time student. Half of that expenditure of course would be $600. I think one would need to add an increase of about 4% per annum since 1965 to that figure. So, the cost of each external student would be $700. In other words, $700 would be provided towards the cost of educating each student in the chosen external course.

If the $100,000 offered by the Victorian Government is to attract the Commonwealth grant and if Monash University finds the offer acceptable - this does not seem to be the case so far - taking the 1965 calculation of $600 per external student, we discover that the number of additional students able to undergo external courses through Monash University would be 256. Taking the 1970 calculation which gives a cost of $700 per student, we find that this means that only 220 extra students would be able to do external courses through that University in Victoria.

Exactly what impact does this have on the problem of country teachers in particular? I am referring here not simply to teachers at Government schools but also to teachers at private schools. Much play was made last night to the effect that state aid per capita is a big thing. But what we tend to overlook is that private schools are just as desperately in need of additional facilities to improve the qualifications of their teachers as is the State school system. What effect would this increase in the number of students taking external courses in Victoria have? The estimate that has been provided for this year shows that the number of students taking external courses in Victoria is 185. I do not have the exact figures. This is the estimate as set out by the Australian Universities Commission. If we add to that figure the 220 students who could be trained at $700 per head on a grant of $100,000 from the Victorian Government and a matching grant from the Commonwealth Government, we find that the total number of students who could be educated in external courses in Victoria this year is 405.

Honourable members can see that this is simply not adequate when considered against the scale of the problem. This is especially so when we compare these figures with the figures for New South Wales. This year, the estimated numbers of external course students in New South Wales is 3,930. Let us suppose that we add the estimated number of extra students for 1971 to the already estimated figure at this time. That figure is 190. All that we can expect at the present moment in Victoria is that the number of external students will increase in the next year by only 5 on the number enrolled this year. The total number of students undertaking external courses next year would be 410. I compare this with the estimated figure for New South Wales which is 4,305. Another fundamental question arises here. So far, Monash University has not made any official statement as far as I can recognise - all we have had are comments from around the campus - as to whether Monash University will accept this grant-

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Drury)Order! I point out that this is a Bill relating to universities. The purpose of the Bill is to grant financial assistance to the States for the purposes of building projects in connection with teachers colleges. Only passing references to universities are in order.


– That is very true, Mr Deputy Speaker. What we are concerned with here is teachers colleges. I am talking about the general conditions under which teachers are being trained. But the subject of teachers colleges is one aspect only of the matter. It is not good enough just to train people. The other aspect must be looked at also. I refer to those people who are already teaching in classrooms.

These people want further training. Mow are we to give them this training? What I am talking about is the situation in Victoria. Let me revert briefly to what I was saying before. Monash is very unenthusiastic about this grant. The University has no external study centre. It would need about $500,000 to set up suitable accommodation. That is the reason why it is unenthusiastic. We cannot offer a University $100,000 - whatever the Commonwealth: matching grant may be - and say: ‘Right.. Go ahead and find $500,000’. Every University in Victoria has been starved of funds for development in the next 3 years. Obviously, these Universities are not willing to take on any additional project such as the one proposed at Monash. I have raised this subject because I believe that a desperate need exists for a boost in the number of people taking external courses, especially teachers and, in particular again, those teachers who are living in country areas. I think that this is the only way in which we will ensure that teachers in rural areas and country students will get a fair deal.

Diamond Valley

- Mr Deputy Speaker, I wish initially to make some brief comments about some of the remarks that have fallen from Opposition members in this debate. 1 would have thought that no one on this side of the House could have taken any exception whatever to what the honourable member for Fremantle (Mr Beazley) said. What he said was an unqualified support for the legislation and the proposals contained in the legislation. I would have thought that the proposal now in hand for the construction of additional teachers colleges merited the complete and unqualified approval of this House.

The honourable member for KingsfordSmith (Mr Lionel Bowen) made 2 comments which I think deserve to be taken up at this stage. The first of them was a comment to the effect that the Commonwealth should not have engaged in this piecemeal approach to remedying the problems of education, but that it should be looking in detail by means of a survey of some sort or some more detailed inquiry into the real and overall needs of education in Australia. When I interjected, perhaps somewhat out of order, and reminded him that the Commonwealth and the States were already at this time involved in an inquiry into the needs of education in Australia he replied that it was too late to be engaging in inquiries of this nature. I would have thought that the kindest remark that I could make about that is that it is something of a logical slip. It seems to me that one cannot on one hand say that the Commonwealth should be conducting a detailed inquiry into the overall needs of education in Australia and on the other hand assert that if there is such an inquiry in progress at the moment it is too late, it is a waste of time and the Commonwealth need not go on with it anyway.

The second matter on which I should make comment, with respect to the observations of the honourable member for Kingsford-Smith, is his statement that the States are sick and tired of the interference by the Commonwealth in the intricate details of specific aspects of the various construction programmes that the Commonwealth assists. No doubt he had in mind the teachers colleges programme, the science blocks programme and the library programme in particular. If I understood him correctly he meant to say that the Commonwealth was interfering in the detailed aspects of the construction of buildings, libraries, science blocks and so on. This comment is not, of course, confined to the honourable member for Kingsford-Smith. It is a criticism of the activities of the Commonwealth in education which is quite frequently made. Indeed some State government officials and even Ministers make the same criticism. The only point I want to make about that is that it is in my view a completely unwarranted and unjustified criticism of the activities of the Commonwealth Government in these particular education projects. The former Minister for Education and Science, who is now the Minister for Defence (Mr Malcolm Fraser), at the very least has completely denied that there is any such intrusion by the Commonwealth in that respect or that there is any excessive supervision of the size of windows, doors, the heights of walls and so on to which the honourable member for Kingsford-Smith specifically referred.

It seems to me quite legitimate to say that the Commonwealth should take far more of a part in the education programmes of the States and it should take a part in more specific programmes to improve education in the States. But the only thing I want to say at this stage is that it is a completely unwarranted criticism of the Commonwealth to say that there is detailed, intricate interference by the Commonwealth in the buildings that are put up and the way in which they are erected.

With all due respect to the honourable member for Bendigo (Mr Kennedy), it seems to me that the vast bulk of his comments had nothing to do with this legislation at all, which of course is concerned solely with teachers colleges. He did make one comment that did - if I may stretch the definition - appear to be relevant. Honourable members will recall that the honourable member for Bendigo took the Minister for Education and Science (Mr N. H. Bowen) to task for the statement made in his second reading speech when he said:

This increase is designed to assist the States with their teacher education programmes at a realistic and reasonable level and was determined in the light of current experience and knowledge of building costs.

The honourable member for Bendigo took great exception to the words ‘realistic and reasonable’ and he wanted to know precisely what they meant. I would have thought, with great respect to the honourable member for Bendigo, that the intent of what the Minister was saying in his second reading speech was abundantly clear. What the Minister was saying was that there is an identifiable need in education in this particular area; that there is a desperate need for a great increase in the teaching force of all the State education departments, and indeed in the private school system. Of course the Minister is drawing attention to the fact that the $30m to be made available by the Commonwealth under this scheme will go a long way towards meeting the needs of the States in providing teachers in State schools.

Mr Kennedy:

– How far?


– I do not know whether the honourable member for Bendigo is suggesting that there would still be a shortage of teachers and that there will still be a need for additional teachers in the future. If that is what he is saying, it seems to me to be a completely trite and superficial observation about an obvious state of affairs. There will always be a need for an increased and improved teacher education programme. There will always be a need for an improved and expanded school building programme and a financing programme for every single aspect of education and not only for the provision of school teachers. My understanding is - and I have been given to believe that this is correct - that this proposal will make available some 6,000 places in teachers colleges. That is to say, 6,000 additional places in teachers colleges will be made available because of the extensions to teacher training colleges and the new colleges being built with this money from the Commonwealth. It seems to me quite clear that, although these 6,000 additional places in teachers colleges will not completely solve the problem, it can be justifiably said to be a wholesale attack on the problem of the shortage of teachers throughout this country. It is a very serious and wholesale attack on the problem. The provision of an additional 6,000 places in teachers colleges will go a very long way towards solving the problem of the shortage of teachers in Australia.

I will now turn to a few brief comments of my own that I wish to make on this legislation. It seems to me fair to say that the Bill marks another substantial contribution by the Commonwealth Government to the improvement of education in Australia. The benefits for education in Australia will be seen in an increase in the number of teachers available in the nation, an improvement in the quality of teaching and the acquisition by the States of substantial assets in the form of teacher college buildings. To take only my own State of Victoria as an example, the legislation and the grants to follow it will mean the construction of Stage 1 of the Latrobe Teachers College and extensions to the teachers colleges at Coburg, Burwood, Monash, Melbourne, Frankston and Bendigo. The honourable member for Bendigo is no doubt pleased to hear of this although I cannot recall him making any specific reference to it in his own speech. The benefit to Victoria from the grants to be made under this legislation is obvious. Without the grants these buildings would not have been built, or would not have been built for many years to come.

As I said, it is obvious advantage that is being conferred by this legislation. The Commonwealth is making a real and substantial contribution to education in the States. Two points deserve specific emphasis at the outset. The first is that this is not the first occasion on which the Commonwealth Government has made substantial grants to the States for the construction of teachers colleges. The first scheme, which operated from 1967 to 1970, provided S24m to the States for this purpose. But the scheme embodied in the Bill now before the House is for the provision of $30m for the next triennium - an increase of S6m. The Commonwealth is therefore providing S54m to the States in 6 years for the construction of teachers colleges. There has been a call made throughout this nation for action in education. The Commonwealth’s teachers college programme is real action. The expenditure of millions of dollars on teachers colleges is having a direct impact on education in Australia. It is concrete evidence that this Government does not merely talk about education, but that it is acting.

The second point that should be made is that the payment of grants to a State under this legislation is conditional on 10% of the new places at teachers colleges in the State made available by the grants made under the legislation being held by student teachers not bonded to serve State education departments. That provision in the Bill is another assistance to the independent school system which contributes so much to education in Australia and which is so deserving of support. One would have thought that the debate on the advisability of giving financial aid, in measures such as this, to nongovernment schools would be well over by now. Apparently the travail in the Victorian section of the Australian Labor Party indicates that in that bastion of conservative radicalism - I cannot think of any other way to describe it - doubts still linger about the wisdom of State aid for independent schools.

The teachers college programme is a clear case of the need for assistance to the independent school system. Those schools need teachers just as much as do government schools, and in many cases some of them are in even more desperate need for additional teachers. Commonwealth assistance is being given to provide teachers in government schools and it is only fair, reasonable and just that assistance should be given to provide additional teachers in nongovernment schools. The legislation should be welcomed from all sides because, as I have said, it will make a substantial contribution to improving the quality of education in Australia - and there is plenty of scope for improvement. A great deal of criticism has been levelled at the Commonwealth and State governments in recent years for what is alleged to be a neglect of education. I am quite sure that many of the critics do not appreciate the tremendous problems that all governments in Australia have in providing adequate classrooms, equipment and teachers and in providing a better quality of education.

In a rapidly developing country such as Australia resources are stretched over many competing needs. The problem of education is not merely one of providing classrooms, teachers and money; it is a problem of doing so in the sprawling suburbs where the people live and where the education must be provided. Ti is a problem of catering for an ever-increasing school population. It is a problem of catering for a school population that is staying at school longer and is demanding more education. It is a problem of keeping up with all the modern refinements of a sophisticated education system requiring modern equipment and facilities and better trained teachers. Above all, it is a problem of finding the resources for a costly education programme at the same time as finding resources to develop a continent - to build dams and engage in all the construction and developmental projects that Australia is engaged on at present. If the critics of the education system in Australia mean that Australia’s education system still has deficiences and areas of inadequacy, then I readily agree with them. If, on the other hand, they mean that governments in Australia today do not have an awareness of the importance of education and of the need greatly to improve the quality of education being provided here, then I reject those criticisms completely.

Who can look at the increased involvement of the Commonwealth Government in education in the last few years and say that it is not concerned? Who can look at the library and science block programmes and say that the Commonwealth is not trying to locate areas of need where it can help? Above all, who can deny that the Commonwealth has a vital role to play in education or that it is not taking positive steps to realise that role? It grieves me when I look at the achievements of the State governments and of the Commonwealth Government in education in recent years to see the critics wipe those achievements aside completely as though they were nothing and condemn Australian governments for neglecting education.

There is one final point that I wish to make. Again I must come back to the comments made by the honourable member for Kingsford-Smith. Honourable members may recall that 1 took issue with him when he raised the alleged interference by the Commonwealth Government in the intricate details of the States carrying out the specific education programmes that the Commonwealth is involved in at the moment - the science block programme, libraries programme and the teachers college programme. As I said then, the criticism is quite often made that Commonwealth officers are going out to particular building sites armed with their rulers and tape measures and are saying to State officers: ‘You humble State officers; do not put that nail in there, and make that window 2 inches wider than it is’ and so on and so forth. That criticism is frequently made, and it is always wrong.

Let me take up the other aspect of the same problem. By way of illustration I refer to a particular project under foot in my own electorate - a library project being built at a secondary school. Criticisms and comments were made that the project was not proceeding as rapidly as it should, and as this was a project that initially was being financed by the Commonwealth Government I made inquiries about the progress of the job at the Commonwealth Department of Education and Science. I make no criticism of the officers of that Department when I say that I was informed that they did not know anything about the progress. They did not know what stage it was at and the reply was given, as I understand it is given on these occasions, that this was a matter for the States. Money is given to the States, which carry out the particular job for which the money has been provided.

I emphasise that I make no criticism of the officers of the Commonwealth Department nor, indeed, of the department carrying out that particular policy, but it does seem to me quite proper to say that at this stage of our development the Commonwealth perhaps should be taking a greater particular interest in the carrying out of projects of this nature. Not only should the Commonwealth be engaging in additional areas of educational activity, but it could well be keeping a closer supervision over the expenditure of grants on particular projects. Rue the day when the Commonwealth has to concern itself with the width of a window or the height of a wall, but it does seem quite fair to say that the grants being made by the Commonwealth should be spent in such a way that the Commonwealth Government is able to supervise the expenditure. It certainly should be aware of the progress of certain jobs that are being carried out with these particular grants.

Although this is perhaps not a matter on which there might be a wide degree of public support at present - there is certainly some support - the Commonwealth should investigate other areas of education where it can help and where it can take part. The success of the science blocks programme, the libraries programme, the teachers college programme and the other programmes in which the Commonwealth has been involved, is obvious. I would have thought that this would encourage the Commonwealth to look into further areas where it could help in a degree of partnership with the States. It is significant, of course - and I referred to this before - that there is in progress at the moment a survey of the educational needs of Australia. This is a survey in which the Commonwealth and State governments are taking part.


– Order! I suggest to the honourable member that he is getting a little wide of the Bill, which relates specifically to assistance to teachers colleges.


– I am grateful for your guidance, Mr Deputy Speaker. I merely say that the success of the teachers college programme over the last triennium, and its undoubted success over the coming triennium with this additional $30m, perhaps could encourage the Commonwealth to look into other areas of education where it might be able to give further assistance.


– I do not know why the honourable member for Diamond Valley (Mr Brown) should take the honourable member for Bendigo (Mr Kennedy) to task for wanting to knew what the Government identifies as being a sufficient number of teachers at some future time. After all, the Martin inquiry did set out to try to estimate what was the likely school population at different levels of education and the likely number of teachers who would be required to service such a number of children. Every Education Department worth its salt in Australia has a research section and part of its task is to do just this thing. The honourable member for Bendigo was quite entitled to ask, when we are provided with a measure of this kind, what are the specific objectives, what is the target that the Government has in mind and what is the problem that is anticipated and which it hopes to overcome. The honourable member for Diamond Valley also said - I do not know where this information came from - that this measure is intended to provide 6,000 new places in teachers colleges. That remark certainly is not contained in the second reading speech of the Minister and I do not see a reference to it in any other place. All I know is that, after the last triennium grant to New South Wales, the number of new places that will be made available in teacher colleges will be very few indeed. This is for the simple reason that most of the new buildings - and I applaud the erection of them - will replace obsolete buildings that needed to be torn down about half a century ago. So at this stage the number of new places in teachers colleges in New South Wales will be quite low indeed.

The only other point I want to mention in reference to the remarks of the previous speaker was his statement that the Commonwealth was helping to provide science blocks and libraries in areas of need. I am prepared, and a lot of other people are prepared, to call into question whether these laboratories and libraries are being provided in the places of most urgent need. Some of the big schools - not only private schools but some of the State schools - that are receiving this assistance ahead of other schools seem not to have the same urgent need. Many of them already have facilities that many State schools and many private schools would envy very much. The other point about them - and this is very relative to the Bill we are dealing with- is that whilst the Commonwealth has in the past done a fair bit to help the development of science facilities and now library facilities, it has not provided the teaching staff, the personnel to make good use of those laboratories and libraries. There is a lot of science equipment lying around in schools simply because there is no science teacher on the staff qualified to use it.

This brings me to my main contribution to the debate. The Bill is welcome. I welcome it. I welcome anything that will help education. The Bill is welcome because it does provide the useful sum of $30m over the next 3 years. Thirty million dollars is still a reasonable sum of money. 1 do not know whether or not it will be adequate. The Minister for Education and Science and certainly the Government have given us no indication of the objectives. We get the bald amount of $30m; we get no kind of documentation from the Commonwealth or the client States to show how this amount was decided upon.

The second thing I applaud about the Bill is that it allows for some continuity of planning. I. am glad we are past the old days when provision for these things was made annually. A 3-year programme does enable continuity of planning. 1 am only sorry that the period could not have been even longer. In other countries such planning takes place over a 5-year period. I know from my own experience that the New South Wales Education Department would have been glad to know early last year whether the Commonwealth would be continuing to make capital grants for teachers colleges.

The third thing I approve about the BUI is that it does involve an unmatched grant. Having said that, I cannot say that the provision of $10m a year in respect of capital assistance for the whole of Australia will transform the position of the critical teacher shortage that exists in this country.

We have to measure the Bill’s provisions against some of the aspects of the present crisis position. Let us remember that in respect of this Bill we are thinking mainly of the quantitative aspects - the things that can be measured in terms of bricks, mortar and dollars - rather than the qualitative aspects of the problem.

Looking at the quantitative aspects, we have to remind ourselves that there is a very observable crisis - the shortage of teachers of all kinds in both State and nonState schools. There is a shortage in schools of teachers of different subjects. Many teachers are having to teach subjects for which they were not trained. They are apologetic about it and say it is not their wish that they do so. They do not think it is within their professional competence to do so. It assaults their regard for themselves as professional people when they try to teach subjects for which they have had no training.


– Order! I would ask the honourable member to relate his remarks to the Bill which is to grant financial assistance to the States for the purposes of building projects in connection with teachers colleges. I ask the honourable member not to get too far away from the Bill.


-i do not intend to, but I think we need to have some sort of measure of what this Bill is going to do and the problem with which it is confronted. The problem we are dealing with is the supply of teachers. Surely the very grave shortage of teachers Ls a thing that ought to be mentioned in a debate of this kind.

I have heard many schools report that they do not have a science teacher or a mathematics teacher. The previous one left the service and went to a much better paid position in industry or commerce; or more likely went overseas to seek a position there; or possibly accepted a position to teach at a university or a new college nf advanced education; or maybe accepted a job in a teachers’ college. All these areas of employment are drawing teachers away from the classroom and my wonder is whether this grant of $30m over the next 3 years will be even nearly adequate to meet that kind of need. Many students in secondary schools today are not able to take a subject at the level they would like.

Many schools do not provide level 1 opportunities for bright students. If these opportunities are to be provided the student must go to another school.

There is also the problem of migrants. I am glad to say that the Commonwealth has given some recognition of this problem and I applaud that. One problem coming up is the tuition of handicapped children of all kinds, and this House is to have a Bill on that subject. In the debate on that Bill I will be indicating again that the legislation does not deal adequately with the problem. This scarcity of teachers is not only in primary and secondary schools but even at the lower level of pre-school education and kindergarten, and then again at the tertiary level. The Institute of Technology in Sydney, at the beginning of this year had 4,500 qualified applicants for places and only 1,400 places were available. One of the reasons why more places were not available is not that there were inadequate buildings but that there were an inadequate number of lecturers and teachers for the purpose. So we are confronted with this rather critical shortage of teachers in our nation.

As I have said already, there are increasing enrolments of 5-year old children. In New South Wales in this term many 5-year old children will not be admitted to schools simply because there are no teachers available. Nowadays many mothers are being urged to go back to work and in many cases the economic situation of their family demands that they do so. They are confronted with the position that they have nowhere to leave their children.


-Order! I point out to the honourable member that this Bill has a very definite purpose. It has nothing to do with kindergarten children and training. It is described in quite clear terms in the Minister’s second reading speech as a Bill to extend the present programme of assistance to teachers colleges with a further S30m in the form of unmatched grants to the States. I ask the honourable member to confine his remarks within the framework of the Bill.


Mr Deputy Speaker, I bow to your interpretation on what the Bill deals with. I just want to say this: In face of all these demands for teachers we have on the other hand a scandalous situation in New South Wales. Some 2,000 students have completed 6 years at secondary school and are being denied places in teachers colleges. I wonder again: Does this Bill front up to that particular position?

I want to say a few words, if I may, about the special problems of technical education and the supply of teachers for it. In my experience technical education in this country has been very much the poor relation of our education family. In technical colleges many teachers are completely untrained as far as the art of teaching is concerned. I suppose that in the New South Wales Technical Education Department there are more part time untrained (in terms of teaching) teachers than there are qualified teachers in the sense of having had a course of teacher training. Those who undertake a teacher training course have 1 year’s training concurrent with teaching in their first year of employment. For 2 days a week they go to a teacher training course. This is regarded as grossly inadequate by any standards. I have been party over the last 3 years to an examination of this problem and to designing a more professionally suitable course of teacher education for technical teachers in the State of New South Wales. After 3 years of exhaustive inquiry we got the reply that there is not sufficient finance available to be able to introduce the new courses that we have helped to plan. This is a matter of great concern when we recognise the tremendous importance of industry, of trade training and of technological training. All these things apparently are not getting the recognition that they should. Of course, part of a technical teacher’s training includes refreshment in his own technology. We are all well aware of how quickly the techniques of industry are changing.

I will not dwell on these matters except to say that our technical schools in many cases are inferior to many of the poorest of our primary and secondary schools. They are dingy, ill equipped, obsolete, ill lit, cold in winter and in many cases intensely hot in summer. What kind of an atmosphere or environment is this in which to try to train young people for industry. What opportunity for job satisfaction is there when teachers go into such places. Is it any wonder that many teachers - 12% in New South Wales last year numbering 4,000 - left the teaching service? I wonder whether this Bill will help substantially in overcoming that situation or will it only help us to keep up with the losses we are suffering in the teacher service; help us to stand still? All this reflects on the status of teaching. When people who have not had any professional education in the art of teaching appear before classes and pretend to teach they must detract from the status of teaching as a profession. Therefore, we should be insistent, in co-operation with the States, that every person who goes into a classroom to teach any of our children or young adults or older adults should have professional qualifications. I am not too sure that we wilt do that with the amount of money provided in this Bill.

The Bill does provide that where this money is allocated for the building of teachers colleges 10% of the places in such colleges shall be reserved for unbonded students. The assumption is, as 1 have always understood it, that such teachers shall be free then to teach where they will. If they want to go into private teaching that will be all right; if they want to transfer to some other State that will be in order. They will be unbonded. My only wish is that all teachers might be given the professional regard of being unbonded. Anyone who goes to a university on a Commonwealth scholarship to become an architect does not become bonded to an employer, nor does a student engineer or student doctor. All these people are eligible for Commonwealth scholarships. Why is it that teachers should be degraded by being tied from the moment they accept the scholarship, meagre as it is, by way of a bond for some years afterwards to be employed with a particular employer. Teaching will never have the professional recognition that I saw doctors receive in this House last week when we were discussing the national health scheme. No wonder State Departments of Education ignore the professional teacher organisations. No wonder they do not get an official place on the advisory bodies set up to advise the Minister in many cases.


– Order! I point out to the honourable member that he is engaging in much too wide a discussion on education.


– 1 am moving on to the specific point of the Bill.


– A passing reference to .allied matters is permissible but 1 ask the honourable member to keep his remarks within the framework of the Bill.


– I mention the fact that 10% of places in teachers colleges are reserved for unbonded students. Testimony coming before the Labor Party education committee 2 or 3 weeks ago indicated that this 10% is not being preserved at this stage by some private authorities. I hope the Minister will look into this position. I think this is a part of the conditions of the Commonwealth grant and it should be observed. My only wish is that 100% of places in teachers colleges carried this proviso. There is divided opinion on the status teachers colleges should have. One body of opinion is in favour of teachers colleges being autonomous bodies with degree granting authority. My hope is that all teachers shall have the opportunity in the not too distant future of aspiring to a degree and the status it carries with it. The second body of opinion is in favour of Colleges of Advanced Education carrying out teacher training. In many cases this is already being done. Some people have a deep concern that this will be a dilution of the aspirations for professional status. Some other time I will develop that thought. There is a body of opinion which thinks that all teacher education should be carried out in universities or under a body linked with universities. All this simply means that teacher education bodies are aspiring to professional status.

As 1 said at the outset, this Bill is useful. lt does provide a worthwhile amount but just how much it will do remains to be seen. My worry is that the crisis conditions in the supply of teachers at the moment are such that I would have rather seen a much more systematic study of what was required and then an indication placed before this Parliament of what the dimensions of the problem are. Then we would be able more accurately to measure how effective the Bill is that we have before the House.


– 1 want to say only one or two things regarding this Bill and I will not hold up other speakers; you can depend on that. This is a very gen- erous amount of money that has been made available for teachers’ colleges. It will be appreciated because there has been a lot of unrest due to there being not enough qualified teachers to have the schools right up to date as far as education is concerned. I take it what has been said regarding the need for teachers colleges is apparent and honourable members have made it very clear. Therefore I do not want to engage in tedious repetition. The Minister for Education and Science (Mr N. H. Bowen) has told us where these projects are to be built. I want to deal only with the position in Victoria. Extensions are being made to certain colleges in Victoria. If I remember correctly there are teachers colleges at Ballaraat and Geelong. I see that extensions are to be made to the teachers’ colleges at Coburg, Burwood, Monash, Melbourne. Frankston, Latrobe and Bendigo.

I think there should be some decentralisation of teachers’ colleges, lt is my opinion that it would be very appropriate to have teachers’ colleges at such places as Bairnsdale with its vast population, Colac, Mildura, Swan Hill, Portland and Wangaratta. These are just a few places where teachers’ colleges should be built. Students who attend Melbourne colleges get an idea of city life. They may come from a country area and a taste of city life makes them want to stay in the cities. This is not good for decentralisation. Decentralisation is forgotten. In Victoria special trains are run from country districts to Melbourne taking school children to look around the industries where they might like to work for life. The children are taken to the PostmasterGeneral’s Department and to the big factories in Melbourne. They are being taken down there away from the country districts. Naturally, when they get a job there, they have to go to Melbourne to live. The factories, the Postmaster-General’s Department and other departments are not decentralised! I am very happy to say that the Department of Social Services has been decentralised.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Drury)Order! T suggest that the honourable member come back to the Bill.


- Sir, I am right on the job. Why can we not decentralise the teachers training colleges? I am not saying that half of them should be in the country. But surely, apart from the big provincial cities such as Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong, there are some other places where we could have them. This would be in the best interests of education and in the very best interest of decentralisation, in spite of what city people might say. They might say: ‘The honourable member for Mallee is always pushing this decentralisation project.’ But this is something that this country needs urgently. Every opportunity I get I will put it forward in this House.


– The honourable member for Mallee (Mr Turnbull) finished so quickly that he took me by storm. I thought he would probably have had about another 50 teachers colleges built by this. I sympathise with the honourable member for Mallee in the remarks that he has made. But it is odd that he has supported for all these years the type of party which does nothing about the political policies that he espouses. I am astonished that he has sat with such a party for so long. Why does he not come over to our side and adopt a more sensitive policy about these matters? While he was talking with what one might call a measure of sense, I am quite confident that he wanted to get his remarks into the ‘Bulletin’, the Daily Mail’, the ‘Sunraysia Times’ or some other such publication. That was his contribution to the debate on this education Bill. He made a remark about the generosity of the Government’s approach to teachers colleges. They are to receive $10m each year for 3 years. It is spread over a nation in which the greatest professional demand is probably for teachers. The Bill does not seem to me to be generous, at least not when compared to the approach of this Government in so many other matters.

The Coburg Teachers College, which is in my electorate, is mentioned in the Bill, so I am able to be parochial today. Of course, I think it is important that we do something about areas such as that. It is too late to worry about decentralising educational institutions when we have managed to centralise all the people in the industries. Coburg Teachers College is a major educational institution, but nobody would think so when driving past it. It is one of the products of the Victorian humble attitude towards building standards. It is a well-kept building and is in open grounds. But it has been waiting for years for decent playing facilities around it. I do not think it has such facilities as extra gardening staff. Quite an amount of labour is involved in maintaining the place as a respectable looking institution.

Mr Crean:

– One can tell it from the gaol.


– That is right. It is different from the gaol against which property it abuts. It has 660 students and has 2 year and 3 year courses. The honourable member for Mallee and the honourable member for Diamond Valley (Mr Brown), who seems to be the prince of complacency in this place when it comes to any matter of consideration, ought to examine whether these meagre amounts and this meagre approach by the Commonwealth will solve the education crisis. I represent the areas of Brunswick and Coburg. There are 26 primary, secondary and technical State schools in the area. It is my firm conviction that every child in those State schools is served worse with educational and teaching facilities than back in the 1930s. In the 1930s, when I taught in some of those classes for a short period, every teacher before the class was qualified. Every teacher in the high schools was qualified with degrees and diplomas. At the present moment in most of the schools a large number of classes are facing unqualified teachers. So I ask myself when this measure is before the House whether it will solve that problem.

This afternoon 1 have undertaken to the Leader of the House (Mr Snedden), who is extraordinarily co-operative at the moment, that 1 will not take my full time in this debate. But I want to place on record some facts. Do not, for heavens sake, let us become complacent about education, whether it is in Victoria or anywhere else. We have a teacher crisis on our hands. There are shortages of places in teachers colleges. I have here an article from the Sydney Sun’ of January 1970 headed ‘2,000 Miss Out! Teacher-training scholarships’. Will this Bill before the House solve this problem? My colleague, the honourable member for Barton (Mr Reynolds), pointed out that there is a piece-meal and dilatory approach to the question of education. The teacher is the key to future education. There are population pressures on the education system. But in areas such as mine there are higher educational aspirations which are imposing the greatest possible demand on higher education facilities, that is. at the senior secondary level and at the tertiary level.

It has always been my disappointment that education planners and the census people and others have never been able to sense the higher level of education aspiration which one may find in the parent body in areas such as mine. About 10 years ago there were some 34 people doing matriculation in the suburb of Coburg. This year the figure is up towards 200. That, of course, is part of the immeasurable social statistics, but it is one of which anyone with any social sensitivity at all would have been conscious long since this. A teacher crisis is with us. lt is recognised everywhere, lt is important that this Parliament turn more attention to it. I continually read in the newspaper such headlines as these:

Parents want new training for teachers.

Terrible mess in teacher training.

Teachers should be trained to the highest level.

These are continuing sequences of newspaper items over the last 12 months or so. No measure of complacency from the opposite side of the House can show that we are in any way solving these problems. The teacher is the most important functionary in the school. Certainly each child is important, but without the trained and effective teacher the education system collapses. Are these measures and is the attitude expressed in the second reading speech of the Minister for Education and Science (Mr N. H. Bowen) going to solve some of the problems, such as the need for raising the level of professionalism of teachers. I have here an article from the Bulletin’ written by Mr Fitzgerald, the Chief Research Officer of the Australian Council of Educational Research. I suggest that members ought to examine it very thoroughly. He points out that teachers are in a disadvantageous position not only financially but socially and as far as their professional qualifications and training are concerned. He states:

Teachers, of course, do not enjoy such an advantageous position as their medical counterparts. While being harassed from without, they have become subject to growing internal doubts about the value and relevance of much of what schools have traditionally done.

This, of course, is one of the principal disabilities from which the educational system is presently suffering. I think the situation in Victoria is relevant because a fair measure of this money is to go to Victoria, Victoria will receive some $9m or $10m for its half a dozen colleges, 2 of which are associated with universities. I believe, therefore, that some discussion of university education is relevant at this point, although I do not propose to embark upon such a discussion. In Victoria there is a growing discontent in the teaching service. A couple of years back some teacher recruiters, one might call them, arrived in Australia from Montreal. They visited New Zealand; they went to Tasmania; they came to Melbourne; and they went on to Sydney. I went in and saw them at their place in Melbourne. They were surprised and gratified at the response they received in New Zealand. But this is what they were to expect. They were surprised and gratified enough in Tasmania. They were overwhelmed in Melbourne. They were absolutely astonished by the number of teachers who wanted to leave the Victorian teaching service. A number of Victorian teachers have of course crossed the Pacific and ended up in Canada. This is one of the facts of life. In the moments that are allowed me this afternoon at a time such as this when one is full of the cooperative spirit, I can only pose the question: Do these measures in any way help to fill the bill? Several other matters were raised here this afternoon. I think we ought to challenge the attitude of the honourable member for Diamond Valley on the question of bonded teachers. If he took the trouble of studying the policy of the Australian Labor Party on teacher training and education, he would find that some years ago it was resolved that no teachers ought to be bonded.

I am a product of the bonded teacher training system myself, both before the Second World War in primary education and after the war during the reconstruction training scheme. I found there were not very many other places that I could go for work. 1 found it an affront to my personal esteem to be bonded in that way. 1 can think of no reason why teachers should be placed in a different position from all other people who go through universities doing medicine, law, engineering, architec ture, some of them on Commonwealth scholarships and others paying their own way. I think that the average university student who is paying his own way, certainly at the Australian National University, would be costing the community more than the average teacher going through the Victorian Teachers College. I do not have the figures with me at the moment but I have an idea that the cost of teacher training is between one-half and one-third of the cost of ordinary professional training in the universities. I for one will support any steps that this Government takes to remove the bonding of teachers. As a professional group they are entitled to be trained, passed through the system and to go off to teach wherever opportunity or duty calls them. I would regard this step as a pretty important contribution to the professionalism of the Australian teaching services.

There is another question I want to pose and to which we ought to turn our attention: Where are the teachers to come from? There is no doubt that there will be a demand for teachers far beyond the capacity of the secondary schools and far beyond the capacity of the universities to produce from the ordinary student body. It is time we turned our attention to the adults in the community who would like to enter the teaching service. I refer to the women in the community, in particular the married women. The statistics show that this is the largest and greatest area of intellectual wastage in the Australian community. The figures will probably show that there are 40,000 more young men in the Australian universities this year than there are young women. Yet young women have the same intellectual capacity, social characteristics and so on as their brothers. But they have been drop-outs, not because of any lack of intellectual capacity but simply because they happened to be women. They were preceded by similar generations of women who may well be 30 years or 40 years of age but who could well be offered university training at this stage. In a period of 5 years a woman now aged 30, wilh her leaving certificate or even her intermediate certificate, could become a qualified teacher with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Diploma of Education and have perhaps 30 years professional opportunity before her. From an examination of the general situation (his seems to me to be the only area where there is a large number of people who could be recruited to the teaching services of Australia.

Another question which should be raised is whether teachers colleges should be separate as institutions from universities. Honourable members will notice from the Schedule that 2 teachers colleges are associated geographically. I refer to those at La Trobe University and at Monash University. I am not sure of the technical relationship with the universities. Teaching is a demanding task. It is a profession which often takes people from school to the teachers college, to university, and then back into the school room. Teachers may well proceed through life never having done anything else. Of course teachers play their part in the community like anyone else, but in some ways I believe that teaching offers more threats of isolation from the general thread of the community and the intellectual stimulus that flows in other professions than are found in most other faculties. I am not sure that I approve as a general rule the isolation of teachers colleges into institutions as such. This is a matter of debate. I know that in some countries the authorities have expanded teachers colleges into independent institutions but I believe that the intellectual capacity of teachers and the stimulus that flows from association with other faculties would be of advantage to the education system. Whether all teachers should be from the university level was resolved in some countries long ago.

I believe that the Commonwealth Government should assert itself more in these matters. Canberra is the place where we ought to be setting the standards. Canberra should have an independent education authority. This is the area where the Government could carry out experiments and adopt a progressive approach to many matters which would set the rest of the Australian educational systems moving. I support the Bill. Anything that the Commonwealth does in this area is gratefully received. As my friend the honourable member for Fremantle (Mr Beazley) pointed out earlier, not so long ago it was regarded as a minor aberration if I spoke on education. It was regarded as one of the minor aberrations of a person who brought his professional pursuit into this chamber despite the constitutional aberrations that afflict this country.

It is an instructive historical pursuit to look back at some of the speeches made by our former great national leader the right honourable Sir Robert Gordon Menzies, and what he had to say about these things and then turn to the flowing eloquence of my friend the honourable member for Diamond Valley and the Minister for Education and Science. One notes that over 10 or 12 years honourable members opposite have progressed elaborately from being absolute State righters to almost dislocating their shoulders from patting themselves on the back for what they are doing for education. The Commonwealth Government has a long way to go before it satisfies the duty imposed on it by its great resources and financial capacity. I hope that in the future when I stand to speak and ask for co-operation from the Government side of the chamber I will receive it as in duty bound.

Mr N H Bowen:

– in reply - It is generally agreed that there is a shortage of teachers and that that is one of the major problems in education in Australia. Equally it is a problem in other advanced countries. The pressures in Australia are great, particularly because of our rapid rate of expansion. But the Commonwealth Government, in presenting this Bill, is making a massive attack on the problem by providing $30m for allocation to the States for the erection of teacher training colleges. This sum is for the 3-year period commencing on 1st July this year.

In answering generally some of the matters raised by honourable members in this debate I want to point out that this is not the only way in which the Commonwealth is tackling the problem of the shortage of teachers. It is supporting the recurrent and capital expenditure of the universities and so far as they are training teachers this support is directed at that objective. In the same way the Commonwealth is making grants to colleges of advanced education which are adopting courses for teachers. This practice has been in operation since the beginning of the year and it represents another attack on this problem. Furthermore there are many teachers who do not go to teacher training colleges but who take Commonwealth scholarships at universities. The Commonwealth is assisting the attack on this problem not only by means of direct grants for the recurrent expenditure of universities and colleges but by means of its scholarship schemes.

I want now to comment on some of the points raised by individual members. The honourable member for Kennedy (Mr Katter) suggested that it might be a mistake to establish a teachers training college at Townsville and that it should have been established at Charters Towers. I remind him that it rests with a State government te say where a particular college should be established. The Commonwealth does not attempt to direct State governments where to establish colleges. It does not say that they should be at one place rather than another. There is a great deal of latitude not only as to where they should be but as to the actual plans. These matters rest largely in the hands of the State governments. At least the teacher training college at Townsville will be associated with the James Cook University of North Queensland which may be expected to grow and to be a useful complementary institution. Also, the Australian Institute of Marine Science is to be at Townsville. Therefore Townsville will be an area where people training their young minds will be able to associate with other people of high professional standard in a number of fields.

The honourable member for KingsfordSmith (Mr Lionel Bowen) spent a good deal of time referring to the general problems of education and those affecting teachers, lt is true, as he said, that there are other problems affecting teachers which are not touched upon by this Bill. It may be said that teachers need aids or aides, that they need more in-service training and so on. Of course anyone can make this sort of comment. But this is rather appropriate to the survey which is being conducted at the present time where the needs for the next 5 years in these and other areas are being assessed. The States and the Commonwealth will be looking at this in conjunction. It is not related to this Bill.

The honourable member for Denison (Dr Solomon) referred to the desirability of having residential accommodation. He pointed out that the Launceston teachers college library facilities, for example, were not used at night because the students did not reside near the college. He said that there was a need for residential accommodation. This is a sound point in my view. 1 point out that the States are not precluded from providing out of the moneys allocated some residential accommodation as part of their building programme. Indeed, in the plans which have already been tentatively submitted - they are not bound to - at least 3 of the States have in fact included in their plans some provision for residential accommodation attached to teacher training colleges.

The honourable member for Bendigo (Mr Kennedy) was concerned to do some analysis of the word ng of the second reading speech. He seemed to be troubled by the reference to this increase being designed to assist the States with their teacher education programmes at a realistic and reasonable level. It is true that in arriving at the figure one would obtain projections of the need for teachers in the various States. But that is not the end of the matter. The need is very great. There are other practical factors which come into assessing what is an appropriate figure to give. In some circumstances you could give so much that the material resources and the resources of manpower to erect colleges in the 3 year term could not cope with the amount given There is a limitation on what can be realistically, properly and reasonably used by the States, having regard to their plans, resources, materials and men available.

A further factor which has to be taken into account is the capacity of the State to administer the staff of a teacher training college when it has been erected. What staff it will have available to maintain and service that institution, and how far it will be able to maintain it? The States obviously have to be consulted on a plan of this. kind. Lengthy consultations took place with the various States. They were asked to submit what they could do in the period to meet this objective of overtaking the shortage of teachers, lt is not suggested that this 3 year period which we are discussing will completely overtake this shortage, but it is a reasonable and realistic level of assistance towards that end, having regard to what the States want and what they are capable of handling.

The honourable member for Barton (Mr Reynolds) said that in New South Wales the last 3 year programme in which an amount of $24m was provided, ends on 30th June this year. He suggested that this programme mainly replaced old buildings and did not really provide many new places. I think that is what he was putting.

Mr Reynolds:

– Overall for the State.

Mr N H Bowen:

-I do not have the precise figures for New South Wales. The honourable member may be interested in the overall figures for Australia during that triennium. In the triennium ending 30th June 1970, there were 4,350 new places provided by the scheme and 1,130 replacement places. He was referring to places where there is already a place but in an old building and the new building provides a place which simply substitutes for that old place. There was an overlap to the extent of 1,300, but there was a surplus, that is, a distinct and full advantage of new places to the extent of 4,350. The programme we are considering will provide 6,000 new and replacement places. I do not have with me the precise break-up.

Mr Reynolds:

– You are talking about the whole of Australia?

Mr N H Bowen:

– That is right. I cannot give the honourable member the figures for New South Wales. I do not have them with me. I suggest that the figures of 4,350 new places against 1,300 replacement places do not bear out the kind of proportion which the honourable member was suggesting was the position.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

Message from the Governor-General recommending appropriation announced.

Third Reading

Leave granted for third reading to be moved forthwith.

Motion (by Mr N. EL Bowen) proposed:

That the Bill be now read a third time.


– I would like to refer to the Schedule. I do not want to give the impression of being parochial about this; it is just a matter of legitimate inquiry. I see that the limit of the grant for the triennium for New South Wales is $9.9m and for Victoria it is S9.5m. I think everybody is well aware that New South Wales has a somewhat bigger student population than Victoria. I would say that it also had a bigger teachers college population than would its neighbour Victoria. I am just wondering why the 2 States have almost the same amount of money provided for them. Is it because New South Wales has been a bit laggard in developing its teachers colleges in response to the Commonwealth’s grants? If I remember correctly, the only new developments in the triennium coming up will be the building of further stages - of existing colleges. Presumably New South Wales does not intend in the next 3 years to embark on the building of another new teachers college. Is that the reason for this limitation?

Mr N H Bowen:

– The honourable member for Barton (Mr Reynolds) has drawn a comparison between the amount allocated in the schedule for New South Wales and that for Victoria. It is true that the amounts are not allocated strictly on a population basis or on a student population basis. On the other hand, if one took the figures over the 6-year period and also had regard to the fact that New South Wales has taken advantage of the offer of the Commonwealth to have teacher training courses supported in colleges of advanced education, under which they will get $3. 2m during this period, one would find that it balances out very closely. It is equivalent to a population basis of comparison. However, that is not the rigid basis. These figures have also taken into account the future plans of each State, what they felt they were capable of doing in the particular year, and what their stated needs were.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a third time.

page 2682


AttorneyGeneral · Berowra · LP

– In the unavoidable absence of the Minister for Customs and Excise (Mr Chipp) I move:

Customs Tariff Proposals No. 11 (1970)

Mr Speaker, the Customs Tariff Proposals which I have just tabled relate to proposed amendments to the Customs Tariff 1966- 1969. The amendments, which will operate from 23rd May 1970, incorporate changes consequent on the Government’s consideration of recommendations by the Tariff Board on:


Extrusion presses;


Screws for wood; and

Weighing machinery and weights.

A copy of this speech is now being distributed to honourable members so that they can, if they wish, read it with me. A short glossary of technical terms is included in the normal detailed summary of tariff changes currently being distributed to honourable members. On centrifuges the Tariff Board has recommended a rate of 30%, ad valorem, General Tariff, and 20%, ad valorem, Preferential Tariff, except for hydro-extractors of a kind used in laundries where the rates recommended are 40%, ad valorem. General Tariff, and 30%, ad valorem. Preferential Tariff. The recommended rates for hydro-extractors represent a decrease of 15%, ad valorem, General Tariff, and an increase of 2½%, ad valorem, Preferential Tariff.

On milk and cream centrifuges and other liquid centrifuges the Tariff Board has recommended that the duties be increased from 7½%, ad valorem, General Tariff and Free, Preferential Tariff. However, Australia’s GATT - General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade - commitments preclude an increase in the General rate of 7½%, ad valorem, on cream separators and milk clarifiers. unless international negotiations are undertaken. As there is little prospect of local production of these goods negotiations will not. be undertaken and the existing duties will be maintained. On sugar centrifuges the new duties represent a decrease of 17½%, ad valorem, General Tariff, and 7½%, ad valorem, Preferential Tariff. For other industrial centrifuges, including those for use in the coal and metallurgical industries, the reductions are 25%, ad valorem. General Tariff, and 7½%, ad valorem, Preferential Tariff.

Concerning extrusion presses the Tariff Board has recommended increases on the existing duties of 7½%, ad valorem, General

Tariff, and Free, Preferential Tariff. The increases are 22½%, ad valorem, General Tariff, and 20%, ad valorem, Preferential Tariff. The Board found that the production of extrusion presses is a reasonable development for the local machinery manufacturing industry. It considers that the recommended rates would afford reasonable assistance for the production of these presses, and provide an opportunity for greater utilisation of existing plant capacity. In its report on screws for wood the Board recommended that protective duties of 40% , ad valorem, General Tariff, and 30%, ad valorem, Preferential Tariff, should apply. This represents an increase in the level of duties of between 7½%, ad valorem to 20%, ad valorem, General Tariff and about 20% , ad valorem, Preferential Tariff, according to the type of screw affected.

Turning now to the report on weighing machinery and weights. I point out that the Tariff Board recommended that rates of 40%, ad valorem, General Tariff, and 25%, ad valorem, Preferential Tariff, be applied to spring balances and price computing scales. This recommendation docs not alter the General Tariff rate but increases the Preferential Tariff rate by 7½%, ad valorem. The Board recommended that imports of automatic or continuous weighing machines and checkweighers should be dutiable at rates of 20%, ad valorem. General Tariff, and 10%, ad valorem, Preferential Tariff. This represents an increase of 12½%, ad valorem, General Tariff, and 10%, ad valorem. Preferential Tariff, for the majority of automatic and continuous weighing machines. The duties on checkweighers are reduced from 40%, ad valorem, General Tariff, and 17½%, ad valorem, Preferential Tariff. Rates of 20%, ad valorem, General Tariff, and 10%, ad valorem, Preferential Tariff, have also been recommended for heavy industrial weighing machines. For these machines the new duties mean a reduction of 20%, ad valorem. General Tariff, and 7½%, ad valorem, Preferential Tariff.

In respect of light industrial and domestic scales the Tariff Board has recommended rates of 30%, ad valorem, General Tariff, and 20%, ad valorem, Preferential Tariff. For sensitive balances under reference and weight-count machines these rates constituie an increase over the old rates of 7½%, ad valorem, General Tariff, and Free, Preferential Tariff. For - other light industrial and domestic scales the General Tariff rate has been reduced by 10%, ad valorem, and the Preferential Tariff rate increased by 2½%, ad valorem. The Tariff Board has recommended that weights for weighing machines when imported separately be dutiable at 20%, ad valorem, General Tariff, and 10%, ad valorem, Preferential Tariff. The new rates represent in the main a reduction of 20%, ad valorem, General Tariff, and 7½%, ad valorem, Preferential Tariff. In its report on factice–


– If the honourable member wants to know, it is an oleaginous substance which is mixed with something else and used in the manufacture of plastic goods. If the honourable member consults the report he will be much wiser than he is by my description of it.

Mr Kelly:

– Whereabouts is it?


– In the last paragraph. In its report on factice the Board recommended a duty level of 10%, ad valorem, under both the General and Preferential Tariffs. The goods were previously free of duty from all countries. I commend the Proposals to honourable members.

Debate (on motion by Mr Crean) adjourned.

page 2684


Reports on Items

AttorneyGeneral · Berowra · LP

– I present the following reports by the Tariff Board:


Extrusion Presses.


Screws for Wood.

Weighing Machinery and Weights.

Electric Shavers (New Zealand-Australia Free Trade Agreement).

Nolegislative action arises from the last mentioned report.

Ordered that the reports be printed.

page 2684


Australian Press

Motion (by Mr Hughes) proposed:

That the House do now adjourn.


– I am one member of this House who cannot be accused of speaking unnecessarily in an adjournment debate in this House, butI am very much concerned at the attack made by the honourable member for Wills (Mr Bryant) yesterday on the freedom of the Press. I know that honourable members are anxious to catch planes back to their electorates and I will be brief. In this House yesterday the honourable member for Wills made a bitter attack on the Melbourne Age’ for reporting the split between Mr Holding, the Leader of the Labor Party in Victoria, and the left wing State Executive of the Labor Party in that State. He also attacked the Melbourne ‘Herald’ for reporting the results of a gallup poll which showed an 8% swing in support of the Gorton Government. He called for a body to be set up to control the Press. He said that the purpose of the body was as follows:

To consider complaints about the conduct of the Press-

Mr Scholes:

– I rise to order. Is it not the ruling of the House that when the adjournment is moved on a Friday it shall be put without debate?

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Lucock)Order! There is no substance in the point of order.


– I was quoting from Hansard from the speech of the honourable member for Wills. He said that the purpose of the body was:

To consider complaints about the conduct of the Press or the conduct of persons and organisations towards the Press

There have been times when I have not been happy with things I have read in the Press, but we must resist most strongly any attempts to interfere with the freedom of the Press, as Voltaire said. We all know the following quotation:

I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it. 1 consider that the honourable member for Wills misled the House on the political situation in Victoria. He made what are now revealed to be false statements about newspapers and tried to conceal the fact that there is a disastrous split in the Labor Party in Victoria.

The simple fact is that this split is there and it exists between the Victorian State Executive of the Australian Labor Party on the one side and the Leader of the State Opposition, Mr Holding, and the Leader of the Federal Opposition (Mr Whitlam) on the other. The honourable member for Wills told this House that the reports of the split were the result of a conspiracy by newspapers because a gallup poll had shown a big swing to Labor in that State. What the honourable member told this House was, to say the least, untrue. Let me deal with the gallup poll figures first.

The honourable member for Wills alleged falsely that the Melbourne ‘Herald’ had suppressed gallup poll figures because they were unfavourable to the Bolte Government. This is not true. The gallup poll to which be referred was a poll taken on 4th April to define the then voting intentions of the people of the whole of Australia in a possible Federal election at that time. The questions asked had nothing to do with State politics. The figures showing individual State’s intentions in this poll were as usual not issued with the gallup poll for publication.

The reason for this is that the number involved in the individual State’s samples is so small that the margin for error is too great to have the figures recorded officially. Therefore, the poll takes the picture as a whole and issues its findings on those figures. The figures for individual States are available and are given privately to those who seek them, such as the political parties, libraries and universities. But i emphasise that the figures were never issued with the gallup poll for publication in newspapers and therefore there was no suppression whatsoever by the ‘Herald’ or any other newspaper.

The actual number of interviews made for the survey in Victoria was 459 out of a total of 1,762 for the whole of Australia. The honourable member for Wills told this House yesterday that the number of persons interviewed in Victoria was 1,693, of whom 827 said that they would vote for Labor. The figures quoted by the honourable member for Wills were entirely wrong. Where he got those figures, I do not know. The actual number of samples taken in Victoria was a mere 459, not 1,693 as the honourable member for Wills claimed.

The other important point about this gallup poll was that it was taken to test Federal voting intentions and had nothing to do with State politics. The gallup poll organisation is at present conducting a survey of about 2,000 voters in Victoria on their voting intentions in the coming State poll. That sample should give an accurate forecast of the result of the State election. The result of this poll, I believe, will be published in the Melbourne ‘Herald’ next Thursday or Friday and, naturally, it will be published whether it shows a swing to the Labor Party or a swing to the Liberal Party. That is a true indication of the integrity and responsibility of the newspaper group of which we are speaking.

Now, as to the story that the split in the Victorian ALP is an invention of newspapers, let us look at the facts. I have it on good authority that at 4 o’clock on the afternoon on which Mr Holding was to deliver the policy speech of the Australian Labor Party Mr Holding’s own office did not know that he had been torpedoed by the Victorian State Executive of the Australian Labor Party. A substantial document was issued by the Victorian State Executive before it was given to Mr Holding. This document. I am told, had two sections. One was printed on white paper and one was printed on green paper. The white paper section was the State Labor Party policy as seen by the State Executive, lt pledged that Labor would phase out State aid to independent schools. The green paper section, which was the speech that Mr Holding had to deliver that night contained no such reference. That was because, for 2 days in the week before, Mr Holding and the Leader of the Federal Opposition, Mr Whitlam, had argued with the State Executive to omit this statement from the platform.

We can pity Mr Holding and the Federal Leader of the Labor Party in their battle with the left wing Victorian State Executive because they believed that they had won their argument. Honourable members can imagine the panic in Mr Holding’s office when, on the afternoon of the policy speech, newspaper men drew their attention to what the ALP Executive had done. As a result, I am told that there were frantic attempts between 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock that night to alter Mr Holding’s speech in such a way that the difference would not be apparent.

It is significant that the speech that Mr Holding delivered that night as his Party’s platform for the coming State poll did not contain the Executive’s damaging pledge to phase out State aid. Far from trying to invent a split, the Melbourne Press obviously tried unsuccessfully to see Mr Holding to resolve the obvious differences. I am told that he was not available. The allegation that the story of the split which, of course, was real news, had been invented by newspapers, began with a publication in Melbourne called the ‘Sunday Observer*. This paper, as is well known, is owned and published by the IPEC company headed by Mr Gordon Barton. It has as one of its feature journalists, Mr Wilfred Burchett, and it is well known also that Mr Barton has no love for Liberals and the Liberal Party. It will be remembered that the Government had refused to give Mr Barton’s company a licence to operate a third airline. Mr Barton has for some time devoted much effort to defeating the Liberal Party not only in the Federal sphere but also in the State sphere.

Mr Barton’s ‘Sunday Observer* organisation is issuing at the present time a 4-page propaganda sheet, calling itself a newspaper, which is loaded with Labor propaganda. The issue this morning contains not only the incorrect allegations made by the honourable member for Wills yesterday but also an equally incorrect article signed by him. This sheet makes no attempt to present both sides. By his association with it, the honourable member for Wilis makes a joke of all his allegations yesterday about the need for responsible and fair reporting in newspapers. His attack on the Press is both ludicrous and unwarranted. But his call for controls on the Press if adopted would create a dangerous precedent. There must be no interference with the freedom of the Press in this country by the socialists or by anyone else.


- Mr Deputy Speaker, I will not take much time to deal with the honourable member for Deakin (Mr Jarman) who is trying to get a bit of a run in the Melbourne ‘Herald’, acting as its spokesman here. When the honourable member talks about freedom of speech, freedom for news media and freedom for instrumentalities, 1 suggest that he could well start with the Australian Broadcasting Commission. The facts at issue are these: I read out here yesterday some figures from the gallup poll. They showed that in Victoria there was a 48.81% acceptance of the Labor Party and about a 32% or 33% acceptance for the Liberal Party.

The Melbourne ‘Herald’ did not make this a major issue because it is a major political fact, whether the ‘Herald’ has published it in the past or not. I will leave it at that. If there were any errors in the figures that I read out yesterday, I will make the record straight when the Parliament resumes. But the facts are that the gallup poll shows, whatever the statistical measure was, a substantial swing to the ALP. This was ignored by the Melbourne Herald’. It is a major political fact, whether such facts are customarily printed or not by the ‘Herald*. For this newspaper to ignore it was, I believe, to betray its duty as one of the great monopolistic newspapers in Australia.

The honourable member may attack the other issues as he will. I turn to the question of the policy statement by the Leader of the Labor Party in Victoria. The Leader in Victoria, as is the tradition, announced the policy of the Labor Party. There was an expanded policy statement issued after his speech was delivered. The Leader decides the details of the policy for the time being. There was no dissension, as far as I could determine, inside the Labor movement in Victoria. It was a completely phoney war. Honourable members opposite can whistle as loudly as they like, but they will not be able to keep their courage up for much longer.

The facts are that the honourable member for Deakin has deliberately misinterpreted Labor’s policy in his speech this afternoon. He does not even understand it. So, how can he understand a democratic institution in which policies flow from branch to conference to the parliamentary party and to the executive. These things are under constant consideration. Yet the honourable member rises here and talks about freedom.

Look at him. He, a rubber stamp for the Executive. He who speaks of freedom of speech and has voted for the gag every time it has been moved when he is here. The honourable member for Deakin who talks about the freedom of the individual acts as a rubber stamp for the tyrannical parliamentary executive without fail every time the gag has been put before the House. Fancy people like the honourable member talking about democracy.

The facts are that the Melbourne ‘Herald’ is one of the world’s great monopolistic newspaper combines. It is also, in general, one of Australia’s best newspapers. It has a duty beyond its political bias to give the facts - all the facts - particularly at times of elections in a democracy. That is why I challenge it.

I mention one other issue: The Melbourne ‘Herald’ said last night - I have not had time to respond to it yet - that it always has treated me fairly. This newspaper runs a television station in Melbourne. During the last Federal election, it invited two of my apponents to be guests on its ‘Meet The Press’ programme for half an hour on the last Sunday before the election was held. I was not invited to participate. A half an hour was spent trying to denigrate the honourable member for Wills - a totally fruitless operation, of course. On the next day, the Melbourne Sun-Pictorial’ produced the remarks of those candidates but made no reference to me. If that is the attitude of that organisation to fairness, I will have none of it. I do not like the honourable member for Deakin. I do not care if the newspaper prints half a million copies each day. I do not care whether it is one of the largest journalistic concerns in Australia. It will not silence me and it will not turn me into a newspaper stooge like the honourable member for Deakin.

Mr Scholes:

Mr Deputy Speaker–

Motion (by Mr Hughes) agreed to:

That the question be now put.

Original question resolved in the affirmative.

House adjourned at 4 p.m. until Tuesday, 2 June, at 2 p.m.

page 2688


The following answers to questions upon notice were circulated:

Australian Aircraft Industry (Question No. 285)

Mr Keating:

asked the Minister represent ing the Minister for Supply, upon notice:

  1. Is the Government still considering a merger between the two major components of the Australian aircraft industry - the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation and the Government Aircraft Factories.
  2. If so, will the Minister furnish details of the proposed merger.
Mr Malcolm Fraser:

– The Minister for Supply has provided the following answer to the honourable member’s question:

The Government considers that there is some scope for rationalisation of the activities of the aircraft industry, particularly in relation to the Government Aircraft Factories and Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation Pty Ltd at Fishermen’s Bend. My Department, in consultation with other appropriate Departments, is at present actively pursuing this possibility. Our aim will be to achieve a more effective organisation that can be built onto as Australia’s future needs in the aircraft field dictate. In any rationalisation scheme that might be adopted, full consideration will be given to the interests of the employees concerned.

United States Military Aircraft (Question No. 763)

Mr Barnard:

asked the Minister for

Defence, upon notice:

  1. What regular flights are made into Australia by United States Military aircraft:
  2. What routes do these aircraft follow.
  3. What aircraft are used.
  4. At which ports do they call.
Mr Malcolm Fraser:

– The answer to the honourable member’s questions are as follows:

  1. There are two regular flights per week into Australia by aircraft of the United States Military Airlift Command. (2)(a) Richmond-Alice Springs-Richmond

    1. Richmond-Learmouth-Richmond

The aircraft arrive in Australia from and depart for Christchurch, New Zealand.

  1. Lockheed C141.
  2. See (2) above.

Judiciary Act: Superior Court Proposal (Question No. 935)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Attorney-General, upon notice:

  1. Has the Solicitor-General’s committee furnished the interim report to cover amendments to the Judiciary Act necessary to implement the

Superior Court proposal, as his predecessor told me that the committee hoped to do early in 1970 (Hansard, 26th September 1969, page 2140).

  1. If not, when does the committee now hope to furnish the report
Mr Hughes:

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. No.
  2. I refer the honourable member to my answer to question no. 137 (see Hansard, 5th May 1970, page 1640). The Committee does not now propose to furnish an interim report on these amendments until I have completed my consideration of the question whether the Commonwealth Superior Court Bill should be re-introduced into the Parliament and, if so, in what form.

United States Consulate General, Melbourne: Riot Laws (Question No. 841)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Attorney-General, upon notice:

  1. How many of the 88 persons whom he mentioned as having been arrested after attacks on the United States Consulate General in Melbourne (Hansard, 14th April 1970, page 1056) have been (a) tried and (b) convicted.
  2. At which meetings of the Standing Committee of Commonwealth and State AttorneysGeneral has discussion taken place on the riot laws which the Prime Minister told me that the Commonwealth Attorney-General had been discussing with the State Attorneys-General (Hansard, 19th March 1969, page 639).
Mr Hughes:

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. The offences for which these persons were arrested were offences against State law. I do not know how many of those arrested have been tried or convicted.
  2. Discussions on the control of public demonstrations have taken place on two occasions in the Standing Committee of Commonwealth and State Attorneys-General, once formally and once informally. It would be inconsistent with the confidential character of discussions in the Standing Committee to identify matters discussed at particular meetings where these have not been mentioned in Press statements issued after meetings.

National Health Scheme (Question No. 373)

Mr Scholes:

asked the Minister for Health, upon notice:

  1. Have any doctors been excluded from (a) the Pensioner Medical Scheme, (b) the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme or (c) the Repatriation Medical Service.
  2. If so, who were the doctors excluded and what were the reasons for exclusion in each case.
  3. Have any doctors so excludedhad their previous rights restored.
Dr Forbes:

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. Yes.
  2. In respect ofthe Pensioner Medical Service and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, doctors have been excluded by the Minister for Health following inquiries held by the Medical Services Committees of Inquiry.

These committees are established in each State under Section 110 of the National Health Act. It is not my normal policy to make public the names of the doctors involved.

Other exclusions have taken place in accordance with Section 133 of the National Health Act subsequent to a doctor being charged before a court.

Exclusions from the Repatriation Local Medical Officer Service have taken place as a result of failure by participating doctors to comply with the conditions of their appointment.

Deregistration of a doctor by a State medical board would, of course, result in exclusion from participation in the Pensioner Medical Scheme, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and the Repatriation Local Medical Officer Service.

The numbers of doctors excluded from the three schemes are:

  1. Yes. The numbers of doctors who have been reinstated are:

The information above, relating to the Repatriation Local Medical Officer Service, has been supplied by the Minister for Repatriation.

National Health Scheme (Question No. 507)

Dr Everingham:

asked the Minister for Health, upon notice:

  1. Did he promise in 1969 policy statements that the voluntary insurance scheme would cover 90 per cent of most common medical fees.
  2. Do general practitioner consultations produce the bulk of the medical expenses of most families.
  3. What percentages of common fees are rebated for (a) such consultations and (b) home visits by general practitioners.
Dr Forbes:

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. A figure of 90% return on medical fees was not promised during the election campaign. What was promised was that ‘Commonwealth medical benefits and fund benefits will be increased so that the difference between the benefit entitlements and fees most commonly charged by doctors will not exceed $5 even for the most complicated and costly surgical procedures. For simpler procedures which are less expensive, the difference between the benefits and doctors’ common fees will be very much less . . . We are aiming at the following margin between total benefit entitlements and doctors’ common fees:

General Practitioner Services:

Surgery Consultations - 80 cents

Home Visits-$1. 20.

Other Services - Graduated up to $5.00. For the more costly services the margin of $5 to be met by the patient will be as low as 2% or 3% of the cost of the service’.

  1. General practitioner consultations represented 63% of the number of services for which medical benefits were paid for the year ended 30th June 1969. As the cost of general practitioner consultations is considerably less than the cost of most other medical services, general practitioner consultations represented 35% of (he cost of all services for which medical benefits were paid for the same year.
  2. The proportions benefits will bear to the common fees notified by the Australian Medical Association in the reconstructed medical benefits scheme are:

Medical Practitioners (Question No. 786)

Dr Everingham:

asked the Minister for Health, upon notice:

  1. Will he consider assisting accreditation of general practitioners by professional colleagues and hospitals on a regional basis to perform procedures at specialist rates attracting specialist rates of medical benefits where distance places specialist attention beyond the reasonable reach of many or most patients.
  2. Will he make such specialist care available under the Pensioner Medical Services Scheme where the cost of travel and accommodation for pensioners to obtain specialised public hospital care would exceed the cost of private care.
Dr Forbes:

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. The new Health Benefits Plan will provide for the payment of medical benefits at the specialist rate for certain sen-ices when rendered! by a specialist or consultant physician in the practice of his specialty to a patient who has been referred by another medical practitioner.

For this purpose, it will bc necessary that the specialist or consultant physician be recognised as such under the National Health Act. The criteria to be applied to the question of such recognition will be specialist registration under State or Territory law or, in other cases, the medical practitioner’s qualifications, his experience and standing in the medical profession and the nature of his practice. The new arrangements will allow specialist recognition of medical practitioners who are fully qualified by training and experience for such recognition, even though they may not be engaged in fulltime practice of a particular specialty. The necessity for some form of accreditation of general practitioners on a regional basis, as suggested by the honourable member, will therefore not arise.

  1. In accordance with Government policy, the Pensioner Medical Service at present extends to general practitioner services only.

Association of Professional Engineers:

Salaries (Question No. 691)

Mr Clyde Cameron:

asked the Minister for Labour and National Service, upon notice:

  1. On what date did the Association of Professional Engineers of Australia file their claim for a new award with the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission.
  2. On what dates did the Commission sit to hear the application.
  3. When did the Commission announce its award.
  4. Did the Commonwealth Public Service Board, the only respondent in these proceedings, fix the new salary rates before the award was made.
  5. Did the Government authorise the Board to fix new salary rates before the Commission’s award was announced.
  6. If so, did the Government (a) consult wilh the Board on the rates so fixed and (t>) approve of the rates so fixed.
Mr Snedden:

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. On 31st July 1967, in relation to claims under the Public Service Arbitration Act which were subsequently amended on 8th October 1968 and on 6th November 1967, in relation to claims under the Conciliation and Arbitration Act as amended on 13th February 1969.
  2. On 21st November 1967, the Public Service Arbitrator beard Association applications for claims to be referred to a Full Bench of the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission. Similar applications under the Conciliation and Arbitration Act were heard by Commissioner Portus on 14th December 1967. The President of the Commission on 27th February 1968 directed that the matters be dealt with in joint sitting of the Commission. The hearing of the merits of (he Association claims commenced on 8th October 1968 and concluded on 3 1st October 1969.
  3. 3rd December 1969.
  4. The Commonwealth Public Service Board was nol the only respondent in proceedings before the Commission. Other respondents included State Departments and authorities and private employers. On 26th September 1969 the Board announced increases to engineers employed by the Commonwealth.
  5. The Public Service Board is an independent statutory body which has authority to determine rates of pay of Commonwealth employees, lt was in this role that the Board decided upon rales of pay for professional engineers.
  6. See (5) above.

Australian Army: Allowances (Question No. 388)

Mr Barnard:

asked the Minister for the Army, upon notice:

  1. What allowances are payable to members of the Regular Army.
  2. In what circumstances is each allowance payable.
  3. What was the amount of each allowance in (a) 1945, (b) 1951, (c) 1961 and (d) 1970.
Mr Peacock:

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

The numerous overseas allowances, which are designed to allow a member to maintain his Australian standard of living, have not been included here because of their diversity. These allowances differ within a country, between each country and according to the particular circumstances of the officer concerned. Moreover they are subject to constant change as a result of alignment with Public Service allowances and conditions and may vary three or four times within a year.

There are other allowances which relate to the nature of a member’s duty and/or the additional skill or performance of a particular task and vary from time to time.

Details of the circumstances in which the most common allowances are payable and the amounts payable in the years 1945, 1951, 1961 and 1970 are listed below.

page 2690


Circumstances of Payment

Allowances are paid to compensate for climatic disadvantages, cost of living and isolation of the areas.

page 2691


Allowances introduced 4th November 1963 Rates for 1970 are as follows-


Note - Territory Allowance is payable in addition to District Allowance in Papua and New Guinea.


Circumstances of Payment

The allowance is payable to a chaplain for the provision and maintenance of equipment and vestments.


Circumstances of Payment

This allowance is payable to all members of the Permanent Military Forces excluding members of the Regular Army Emergency Reserve, Pacific Islanders, members in receipt of a consolidated pay rate, apprentice tradesmen in their first, second or third year of apprentice training or apprentice musicians and clerks under the age of 17 years.


Circumstances of Payment

This allowance which commenced in 1948, is payable as compensation for accelerated depreciation of furniture due to removal and for those unreimbursed costs which must be incurred by a member as the direct result of a removal.


Diving Allowance is payable to a diver in respect of the time during which he k under water or under compression in the course of a diving operation authorised by a Commanding Officer. Rales payable are also influenced by the depth of a dive during an operation.

Diving rates payable wim effect from 21 February 1962 are as follows:

Rales vary where a diver attends another diver during a diving operation.


This allowance became payable in 1958 lo members whose posting from one area to another would seriously interrupt their children’s schooling. 1961- Rale for members posted in Australia £80 per annum. Rate for members posted overseas £250 per annum.

At present there are two categories of payment (i.e. for boarding students and for day students) which are applicable whether the member is posted within Australia or overseas. The allowance is

paid to a member posted overseas in respect of children over the age of 9 years who will remain in Australia.

Members posted within Australia receive the allowance if their children’s secondary education would be seriously interrupted. 1970 - Day students . . $625 per annum

Boarding students $1,205 per annum

page 2693


Prior to 1 July 1954 . pilots of all ranks not posted to flying appointments were paid 3/- per day. In succeeding determinations there was no difference in rates for flying and non-flying appointments. To qualify for the allowance a pilot posted to a non-flying appointment is required to fly in command of an aircraft for at least 6 hours in every three calendar months.

The qualified pilots’ rate of allowance is applicable to a qualified pilot if he undergoes instruction at a more advanced course, or serves - on flying duties with the Army Aviation Unit (or as approved by the Military Board), as an instructor, or on an Air Staff appointment.

page 2693


Circumstances of Payment

Hard-lying money is payable to all soldiers posted to sea-going ships. The allowance is payable to officers posted to sea-going ships when the living conditions are markedly inferior to those experienced by officers of the Royal Australian Navy in a destroyer on normal service or when the accommodation provided is not superior to that provided for a senior soldier.

page 2693


Circumstances of Payment

In 1961 a member received £50 per annum for proficiency in one language and £100 per annum for proficiency in more than one language.

The Bounty is now payable in respect of one foreign language only to a member who attains an approved standard of proficiency (Grade A or B) as follows:

page 2693


Circumstances of Payment

This allowance is payable to all unmarried members who are not provided with rations and quarters at public expense.

page 2693


Circumstances of Payment

This allowance is payable to a married member who is required to live out at a new posting and whose family is unable to join him at his new station because - o accommodation is not available; o there is illness in the family; or o the education at secondary or tertiary levels or apprenticeship of the members’ children would be disrupted.


Circumstances of Payment

Marriage, separation and provision allowances arc combined and paid as a joint amount to married members. The full . rate of the marriage element of the allowance is payable provided the member makes a pay allotment to his wife of not less than $2.70 per day when the member does not receive separation allowance while living in and $3.45 per day when the member receives separation allowance while living in. In 1945 an allowance called Dependants Allowance was payable, and varied according to the number of dependants the member supported.

The separation allowance element is payable when a married member is. by reason of his military duties, required to live away from his home. It is not payable when the member is in receipt of the provision allowance element.

The provision allowance element is payable to a married member while he resides at home, provided he is not in receipt of the separation allowance element.

Marriage/Separation/Provision allowances may also be paid to: - a member who is separated, divorced or marriage has been annulled and who maintains his ex-wife or children of the marriage. - a member who is widowed, or deserted by his wife, and maintains his children.

page 2694


Meal allowance is payable to a member in the following circumstances:

To a member who is required to travel away from his normal place of duty but not overnight and whose meals are not provided al public expense.

Subject to his incurring expense in the purchase of a meal, to a member’ who is required to remain on duty at his normal place of duly and a meal is net provided at public expense.

The rates shown for 1945 applied only to commissioned officers. The rates for other ranks in 1945 are shown below:


This allowance is paid to a member when he fcl given approval to use a private motor vehicle, for travel on duty, in lieu of public transport or where public transport is either unavailable or not suitable. Typical rales for the first 5,000 miles are:

A member authorised to use a private motor vehicle whilst travelling to and from a leave destination is paid the above rales of mileage allowance or the cost of travel by the normal means whichever is the lesser.

Where a member exceeds 5,000 miles within the year or when he is given approval to use a private motor vehicle for removal typical rates are:

Note - The term ‘typical’ has been employed in an endeavour to achieve some form of uniformity. The horse power of cars in the earlier years was. generally speaking, much lower. Exact equivalents are impossible.


Circumstances of Payment

This allowance is payable to a member who qualifies as a parachutist but docs not serve with a parachute unit; serves as a parachutist with a parachute unit; trains as a parachutist; or wives as a parachutist training instructor.


This allowance is payable to a member who is not rationed and quartered at his normal place of duty and who incurs continuing expenditure for rent while absent from his normal place of duty. The allowance is payable in respect of the period the member is absent or thirty consecutive days, whichever is the lesser.

page 2696


Circumstances of Payment

This allowance is payable to a member for incidental expenses incurred when travelling on duty to or from an overseas destination under normal civilian conditions.

page 2696


Circumstances of Payment

This allowance is payable when a member serves with a survey party and is required to camp out. If the camp is in an isolated district he is also entitled to District Allowance at the ‘members living in’ rate applicable to that district.

page 2696


Circumstances of Payment

This allowance is payable to a member of a Survey Party who is required to camp out and rations are not wholly provided at public expense. The amount payable is assessed in respect of rations purchased by him in a particular locality at a particular time.

page 2696


Circumstances of Payment

This allowance is paid to a member granted a removal and:

The maximum amount of Temporary Accommodation Allowance that may be paid will be that by which the cost of board and lodging exceeds, in respect of the period for which the allowance is claimed, the total of the member’s normal rem, i.e., 15% of pay and allowances plus an amount which represents the ordinary expenditure of the member and his family for food.

page 2697


Circumstances of Payment

This allowance is payable when a member is unable to obtain unfurnished premises on arrival at a new locality and he occupies reasonable furnished premises. The allowance payable is the difference between the member’s normal rental contribution and the rent of the furnished premises, but not exceeding the maximum allowance approved which is as follows:

page 2697


Circumstances of Payment

This allowance was introduced in 1961 and is payable, for up to 60 days from the time of arrival at a new posting, to a member who is required to live out because rations and quarters are not available.

The amount payable is the difference between the total cost of board and lodging, up :o a maximum of $10 per week, and the following amounts:

page 2697


Circumstances of Payment

This allowance is payable to a member who visits a place within Australia other than his normal place of duty for the purpose of performing duty at that other place and the visit involves his absence overnight from his normal place of residence. Amounts payable vary according to:

Comparative Rates

Comparative tables for Tales payable since 1945 for the first 21 days of temporary duty arc set out below:

The rates payable after 21 days are generally based on actual costs plus other small elements which vary according to marital status.

page 2698


Tropical allowance is payable to other ranks serving in the tropics as part of the ships complement of an Army Small Ship, where members are employed as engineers or fitters in an engine room,’ or ns cooks in a galley where a fire is burning.

Monies Savings Grant Scheme: Interest Rates (Question No. 874)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Minister representing the Minister for Housing, upon notice:

Has the Department of Housing made any checks of interest rates charged on second mortgage loans obtained by applicants under the Homes Savings Grant Scheme; if so, when were the checks made and what were the average rates.

Dr Forbes:

– The Minister for Housing has provided the following answer to the honourable member’s question:

No. The Department is concerned to establish that an applicant has, or will have, sufficient finance to complete the transaction in respect of which a Homes Savings Grant is sought. It does not. however, seek details of the terms on which finance has been obtained nor are these usually supplied by the applicant.

Strata Title Legislation (Question No. 739)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Attorney-General, upon notice:

What steps have been taken to introduce strata title legislation in the Territories since the last of the States brought such legislation into force on 22nd February 1968.

Mr Hughes:

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

In November1967 a Working Group was appointed by the Government to consider and report upon proposed legislation to make provision for granting unit titles in the Australian Capital Territory.

In December 1969 draft Ordinances for this purpose were circulated for comment to a number of interested bodies. The comments of some bodies with particular interest in the proposed legislation have only recently been received. The comments are now being examined with a view to settling the provisions of the proposed legislation.

The legislation for the Australian Capital Territory should provide the basis for similar legislation for the Northern Territory.

Australian Road System (Question No. 66)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Minister for Shipping and Transport, upon notice:

When will he publish the document entitled Australian Road System which he received on 30th April 1969 and which the Commonwealth Bureau of Roads refers to in its Report on Commonwealth Financial Assistance to the States for Roads.

Mr Sinclair:

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

There is no Commonwealth objection to the publication of the report. However, as it was compiled to a large extent from information made available by the States, I have sought the concurrence of State Road and Highways Ministers to the release of the document. I shall advise further on the matter when I have received advice from the State Ministers.

Australian Broadcasting Commission (Question No. 948)

Mr Jess:

asked the Postmaster-General, upon notice:

  1. Is it a fact that on the Australian Broadcasting Commission Channel 2 National Programme Four Corners on Saturday, 2nd May 1970, a film was shown purporting to be an investigation of the Royal Military College, Duntroon.
  2. Was there also on the same programme a panel discussing abortion in New South Wales.
  3. Was the film shown of the R.M.C., Duntroon. filmed in its entirety at the College, or were segments added by the Australian Broadcasting Commission.
  4. If segments were added, were parts in these segments played by people employed by the A.B.C. and not, as portrayed, by Staff Cadets.
  5. In connection with the film shown to the panel on abortion activities were any payments made to individuals in the making of this film segment.
  6. In relation to paragraphs (4) and (5), if payments were made, to whom were they made, and what were the amounts involved.
  7. Will he make a statement to the House in regard to these incidents.
Mr Hulme:

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. The ‘Four Corners’ programme referred to included a filmed report of Duntroon facing the 70’s and purporting to be in the context of the Fox Committee Report.
  2. Yes.
  3. No. Two segments were added. They were -

    1. Commonwealth Film Unit footage on training, made available by the Department of the Army.
    2. A visual reconstruction of the minor forms of bastardisation.
  4. In 3 (a) as above the roles were played by College Cadets. In 3 (b) as above the role was played by an actor employed by the A.B.C.
  5. No.
  6. The actor employed by the A.B.C. (mentioned in answer (4) above) was Mr Robin Prokop. He was paid $16.01.
  7. The answers to questions (1) to (6) appear to provide the pertinent information.

Cooks River Bridge (Question No. 936)

Mr Whitlam:

asked the Minister representing the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice:

  1. To what extent has (a) the Commonwealth and (b) the State of New South Wales accepted responsibility for planning and paying for access across Cook’s River to the Sydney (KingsfordSmith) airport international terminal.
  2. How soon will such access be provided.
Mr Swartz:
Minister for National Development · DARLING DOWNS, QUEENSLAND · LP

– The Minister for Civil Aviation has provided the following answer to the honourable member’s question:

  1. The New South Wales Department of Main Roads is responsible for the planning of the bridge.

The Commonwealth has -agreed to accept financial responsibility for that portion of the bridge on airport land and for additional width of the bridge necessitated by merging lanes from within the airport. The Commonwealth proportion of the cost has been assessed as 38%

  1. I understand that the Department of Main Roads has awarded a contract for the construction, of the bridge and that the work is due for completion by the end of December 1970.

Housing (Question No. 609)

Mr Hayden:

asked the Minister representing the Minister for Housing, upon notice:

How many houses were (a) completed, Cb) sold and (c) provided at rebated rental in each year under the 1945 Housing Agreement in each of the States and the Commonwealth.

Dr Forbes:

– Tht Minister for Housing has provided the following answer to the honourable member’s question:

Civil Aviation: Concession Passes for Students (Question Nil 302)

Dr Everingham:

asked the Minister representing the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice:

Will be consider recommending concession passes on Trans-Australia Airlines and Qantas flights to student nurses on terms similar to those extended to other students.

Mr Swartz:

– The Minister for Civil Aviation has provided the following answer to the honourable members question:

Over the past 12 months, the two major domestic airlines have undertaken a complete review of the matter of concessional air fares, particularly as they affect students.

Whilst certain changes were made in the availability of these concessions, the two airlines found it necessary to adhere to their long established policy of not extending them to any students who are in receipt of remuneration.

Student nurses, of course, are in receipt of remuneration and accordingly are excluded from obtaining concessional fares under this policy, which, 1 am sure you will appreciate, must bc applied uniformly.

Having regard for the fact that the airlines have only recently completed a most comprehensive review of the matter, it would not be appropriate for me to ask Trans-Australia Airlines to give special treatment to student nurses.

In relation to Qantas Airways, the special concessional fares adopted worldwide by the International Air Transport Association for students travelling between their country of residence and prescribed overseas educational establishments do not apply to student nurses and, generally, are only available to full time students not in receipt of remuneration.

Any amendment to the present conditions would have to be approved by all airlines and Governments concerned and accordingly 1 would foresee many difficulties in securing the necessary unanimous agreement to extending the scheme to cover student nurses who are specifically excluded at the moment.

Papua and New Guinea: Recruitment of Native Workers (Question No. 1014)

Mr Clyde Cameron:

asked the Minister for External Territories, upon notice:

  1. Does the Administration of the Territory of Papua and New Guinea exercise any control over charges made by private recruiting agents for the recruitment of native workers in the Territory.
  2. If so, what is the charge made to employers for the recruitment of labour.
Mr Barnes:
Minister for External Territories · MCPHERSON, QUEENSLAND · CP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. and (2) The Administration is empowered under the Native Employment Ordinance to prescribe the maximum fees to be charged or paid in respect of the services of a Native Employment Agent. No fees have been prescribed since the introduction of the Ordinance.

Civil Defence: Workers’ Compensation (Question No. 837)

Mr Hansen:

asked the Minister for the Interior, upon notice:

  1. Is he able to say in what States persons involved in civil defence work during an emergency are covered by workers’ compensation.
  2. Is he also able to say whether any guarantees are given of compensation for loss or repairs to vehicles, craft, etc., involved in civil defence work during an emergency.
Mr Nixon:
Minister for the Interior · GIPPSLAND, VICTORIA · CP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. Each State is responsible for its own civil defence and emergency services. The matter of coverage for workers’ compensation of volunteers engaged on civil defence work during an emergency and compensation for loss or repair of vehicles, craft, etc., is determined by the respective State Governments.

In all States except Victoria civil defence volunteers are covered by an insurance policy which provides for payment for accidental injury and loss of income resulting from participation in organised civil defence training or operations.

  1. In Western Australia and Tasmania the insurance policy is extended to cover personal property. In South Australia, Queensland and New South Wales property is not covered by the policy, but in New South Wales where damage or loss of property has occurred ex gratia payments have been made in all cases to cover damage sustained.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 22 May 1970, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.