PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 2674

MACQUARIE NETWORK WEEKLY BROADCAST BY THE PRIME MINISTER, THE RT HON WILLIAM MCMAHON CH MP - EDUCATION AND CHILD CARE - INTERVIEWER: PAUL LYNCH - 14 SEPTEMBER 1972

Photo of McMahon, William

McMahon, William

Period of Service: 10/03/1971 to 05/12/1972

More information about McMahon, William on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 14/09/1972

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 2674

EMBARGO NOT FOR RELEAS PM ( EST)
JjAUSTRALIA,,. l
PRIME MINISTER
MACQUAF. IE NETWORK WEEKLY BROADCAST
BY THE PRIME MINISTER, THE RT. HON.
WILLIAM McMAHON, C, MP
EDUCATION AND CHILD CARE
Interviewer: Paul Lynch 1.4 SEPTEMBER 1972
Q. Prime Minister, in the Budget Speech of Mr
Snedden last month, it was announced that the amount the
Commonwealth Government will spend on education is to be
$ 426 million, which is an increase of approximately
per cent on the figures for the current year. First
of all, why have you decided on such a large increase
per cent -for education?
PM: Because we give education very high priority in
our social welfare programme and we think that every
Australian in every Australian school is entitled to a
decent education. That is why we agreed to the increase
of $ 72 million in this year.
Q. How is the extra $ 72 million to be spent?
PM: In very many ways. Probably the first one I
should mention is the universities and colleges of
advanced education. That is, we make grants to the States
so that assistance can be given in these two quarters.
We are also giving very substantial assistance to the
States relating to capital grants for school construction,
secondary school science laboratories and libraries,
technical colleges and teachers' colleges, and we are
also giving ner capita grants for independent schools.
Could I go back a little and just remind you that on May
11, of course. we embarked on a totally new programme when
we decided to give unmatched capital grants for the public
schools and per capita grants of about.... oh, a substantial
amount that would take up to 40 per cent of the cost of
educating a child at a private school. / 2
-J

2
Q. Prime Minister, you put one fot in the pool of
child care pre-school child care with this current
Budget. You announced that you will spend $ 5 million to
benefit children from low-income and other special need
families. What is the thinking behind that?
PM: We believe that people in need who have to go to
work and who have children have a right to have those
children looked after while they are at work. And, consequently,
we have given priority for admission to kiddies who are in
special need. That is in the case of single parent families
and to the children of sick and incapacitated people. Mow!
what we have done here e have given a subsidy so that the
cost to the person sending the child to the school can be
reduced. W-will give unmatched capital grants to non-profit
organisations so that they can equip the schools and we will
also provide staff subsidies. In other words, this is
concentrating on the area of greatest need and to ensure that
the kiddy is looked after.
Q. Earlier I used the phrase " putting a foot in the
pool," Prime Minister because it has been suggested by
organisations such as the Women's Electoral Lobby that you
could go much further in this area. Could you see that
happening in future years and in future Budgets?
PM: Yes, of course I could, but do you mean child
care, or...
Q. Yes, child care.
PM: Child care... well, this is a good start, and so far
as I can make out-and I was one of those who pushed this
relentlessly to ensure that it came into the Budget-I believe
it is a very, very good start, but of course we would only
regard it as the beginning of a process.
Q. P'. de Minister, the matter of giving State aid to
private schools is still a controversial one. We have had a
number of calls on this statbn from people calling in saying
the Government should not do this because it steps over the
margin of separation there should be between Church and State.
What is your response to that?
PM: I don't agree with that. My attitude is clear and
so is the attitude of the Government. And I stated it a few
moments ago. We believe in giving aid to all children,
irrespective of their denomination or whether they go to a
church school or not, whether they go to a public school or
whether they go to an independent school. And why shouldn't we?
They are Australian kiddies. They are entitled to be looked
after. They are entitled to have a good education. / 3 1

Q. Arnd you feel if there were no State aid for these
children, they would in fact be penalised?
PM: Well their fam~ ilies would obviously be severely
penalised, and in many, many cases, the kiddies themselves
would bc ponalised. But I ., onder if I can come back to one
of the s'it-jects you mentioned earlier of what we were doing,
because I think there are two areas where; it is not yet
understood about the kind of assistance we are giving and
the extent of it. And that is in universities that is,
the scholarships at universities that we have increased to
20,500 per annum, and in the case of secondary scholarships
where we have increased them from 10,000 to 25, OO0per annum.
I think more should be known abhout these scholarship because
it will be of great help to the people who will be able to
go, not only for the secondary scholarshipq but for the open
entrance university scholarships, the later year scholarships
and the advanced education scholarships. This is a wonderful
reform. Prime Minister, thank you very much.

Transcript 2674