BUDGET ESTIMATES AND RELATED PAPERS
Financial Year 1992-93
Debate resumed from 15th October.
The Hon. Dr B. P. V. PEZZUTTI
[5.25]: In continuing my contribution to this Budget Speech, I draw the attention of honourable members to a wonderful magazine on education dated 19th October and published by the Teachers Federation. In this magazine there is a very good layout of this Budget. It states that there have been major improvements across the State. There have been new capital works programs in TAFE, amounting to $138 million; a new schools program in New South Wales under the leadership of the Minister for School Education, totalling $196.998 million; a general increase of 2.4 per cent in funding for primary and secondary education; an increase of 9.8 per cent for tertiary and vocational education; 2.4 per cent for preschool education; an increase of 5.3 per cent for the transportation of students; and a decrease of 3.1 per cent in the general costs of administration. This Government has been about - general increases in delivery of services and quality education to students, with a minimum of administrative costs.
I am pleased to bring to the notice of the House a major improvement in the cost of running the New South Wales rail system. That cost has been reduced by approximately $1 million a day, and there has been a vast improvement in the quality and the number of services being offered. Last year the State Rail Authority came in $27 million under its budget, with the help of the people in its work force. I pay tribute to the staff working on the North Coast XPT. I travelled on that train recently and I found that the quality of service and the alacrity with which it was given were first-class. The staff were dressed in very smart uniforms; the quality of the food on the train was very good; the quality of the accommodation and cleanliness of the train was first-class; the air-conditioning worked perfectly; and the train ran spot on time. The cheerfulness of the staff struck me, and the general demeanour of staff and the pride with which they delivered their service was an absolute delight. Before this Government came to office the New South Wales Railways sustained a $2 billion loss each and every year, made up by the taxpayers and not the travelling public. At that time morale was at its lowest, and there were strikes all over the place.
The Hon. J. R. Johnson:
That is rubbish!
The Hon. Dr B. P. V. PEZZUTTI:
I remind the Hon. J. R. Johnson that in 1987 the number of strikes on the railway system was enormous; there were strikes everywhere. More importantly, I will contrast the service provided to the North Coast. The train to the North Coast used to take 3½ hours longer than it does now, at the very least. The air-conditioning broke down more often than not. At one time coal strikes were infamous. In the four years from 1988 to 1992 there has been a saving of $432 million in real terms on the railways. As a result of that saving, many more dollars have
been able to be used to improve the service, the quality of rolling-stock, and the quality of staff training. A major undertaking of this Government and of the Minister, the Hon. Bruce Baird, has been to improve the safety of the North Coast line by replacing the signalling system. Productivity increases in State Rail have been massive and are due to the good relationship between the Minister and the rail unions and to massive co-operation from those railway employees who see a future in working for the railways. They are to be commended for their enthusiasm.
For the first time CityRail suburban services have achieved 90 per cent on-time running performance. Nine out of every 10 trains arrive within three minutes of schedule. That sort of performance has done much to improve the morale of those who work for the railways. It is one thing to work for an organisation that is second-rate; you always feel second-rate. It is another matter to work for an organisation that is striving for perfection, where results are achieved. You can see it on the faces of the people who work for the State Rail Authority. If you ring the station master at Hornsby to find out when the XPT is due because you want to meet someone on that train, the phone is answered quickly. More importantly, the station master will say that he might call you back when the train comes on the radar at Newcastle. This is unprecedented, but he will ring back to inform you when the train is coming through. That station master is absolutely delighted with the performance of his new, tarted-up station and with the quality of trains going through there, including the Tangaras. Of course the old red rattlers have disappeared from the northern line. The station master at Hornsby approaches his work with a real sense of pride. The major benefit for the people of New South Wales is that these people enjoy their work and take a great deal of pride in it. In turn that is a source of great pride to the Government and a source of congratulations to the Minister.
The number of CityRail passenger journeys per employee has risen by about 40 per cent. That is a remarkable figure - a remarkable result. For every staff member of CityRail, 23,000 passengers travel each year, compared with a figure of 16,600 in 1988. Once again that is a remarkable figure. Four years ago about 3,300 employees or almost 10 per cent of the State Rail work force took sick leave at any one time. That figure has now dropped to 132. That is more a reflection on the morale of the service than a reflection on whether the employees were sick at the time. It is a great turnaround. It means that people are proud to go to work and that they feel they are doing something worth while. Mr John Brew, the new Chief Executive of the State Rail Authority, and the former Chief Executive, Mr Sayers, have much to be congratulated on for their performances. Commuters can feel quite confident that the program of injecting $2.6 billion in order to revive the railway system is paying dividends for them and for the rest of the travelling public.
I turn briefly to the performance of Pacific Power. At present sales are more than $3.1 billion. Operating profits are expected to exceed $500 million to give a return on assets of about 13 per cent. Pacific Power has reduced its debt from $6 billion in 1988 to below $4.7 billion on an asset base of just under $10 billion. That is a remarkable turnaround. All capital works are internally funded and foreign debt exposure has been removed - not just reduced, but removed. The financial performance has been achieved while reducing the real price of electricity by 6 per cent. That is a lean and very clean organisation, operating at record profit that is returned to the taxpayers by way of dividend in order to fund important services such as education and health. As I have said, Pacific Power has reduced its debt and its capital works are funded internally - while at the same time it has reduced the real cost of electricity to consumers by 6 per cent. The General Manager of Pacific Power, Mr Ross Bunyon, should be congratulated, and
so should the Hon. R. J. Webster and the Hon. G. B. West in the other place on that remarkable performance. I expect it will improve even further.
We all take a great deal of interest in the youth of our country and today many of us were privileged to see young people in Parliament House under the auspices of a new program funded by private industry and entitled Voice of the Children Speak. One was moved, frankly, by the contributions made and the ideas that these young people had to improve our world and, of course, their world. It made me check the youth budget in the Budget Papers, that is, the commitment to young people by the Hon. Virginia Chadwick. Obviously the Minister is extremely proud of the result that the Government has been able to achieve since 1988, particularly the retention rates of young people in schools, especially those who stay on to higher school certificate level. The retention rate for young women from years 7 to 12 has risen dramatically from 50 per cent in 1988 to almost 65 per cent. For young men it has risen from 42 per cent to 51 per cent over the same period. That is a remarkable turnaround. It will result in better employment opportunities and a better quality of life for these young people, not to mention the contributions they will be able to make to our community. The start to life program has been allocated $39.7 million for a youth education training and employment initiative for this year - an important initiative taken by the Minister. That program and the get skilled program, the Australian trainee system, and the work force program make up an important series of major programs to provide better training and better opportunities for a better life, not just for tomorrow but for the future.
Many other initiatives have been announced to assist young people, for instance, the initiative to assist young people to use public transport and other simple matters such as that. In the area of law and justice - though it is not within the portfolio of the Hon. Virginia Chadwick but comes within the youth budget - there is a range of educational, preventative and custodial programs, expenditure on which totals $105 million. That is targeted at trying to reduce the downside for people who may have offended and to return them to the community with a lessened chance of their reoffending and becoming part of the former revolving door process. There have been many other programs in the youth budget, and I have mentioned just a few. In total $2.62 billion has been allocated to services for young people aged from 12 to 24 in New South Wales. We need to continue to target that group in these dark days of recession so that we can give these people some hope that when the economy begins to improve we will have a work force and we will have young people with skills and resources who are encouraged to join it.
There are a few matters I need to speak about as a result of events this week, and they relate to my favourite topic, the health portfolio. The Minister for Health went to Adelaide to meet with and try to knock some sense into Brian Howe, the Federal Minister for Health, who is trying to renegotiate the Medicare agreement. Under the Federal Budget this year it is proposed to remove from the taxpayers of New South Wales $96 million while at the same time reducing funding to New South Wales by $25 million. As the recession continues to deepen - and deepen it does - it is mind boggling: people are dropping out of health funds like flies because they cannot afford to be members, the public hospital system is bearing the brunt of it, and more and more people are becoming sick simply because we are in a recession.
The Hon. Virginia Chadwick:
And there has been a cumulative loss of funding over recent times.
The Hon. Dr B. P. V. PEZZUTTI:
As the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, and Minister for Employment and Training reminds me, New South Wales suffers cumulative losses of $500 million almost every year from the Commonwealth under the previous funding arrangements. The New South Wales Government has to inject almost $1.8 billion to maintain the current services, but we are doing much better than any other State. New South Wales provides a wider range of higher quality services for more people than any other State, yet it receives much less per head of population and per patient treated than any other State. It cannot go on. Mr Howe promised this State some money to help reduce its hospital waiting list but he is increasing the waiting list twice as fast as we are trying to reduce it. It is unconscionable for Mr Howe to trot around talking about equity and access when the taxpayers of New South Wales have to bear the burden of all those costs while many other States are getting more money. All of those States are suffering as well. Medicare is coming apart at the seams because Mr Howe does not have the money to fund it the way he has in the past. He has frightened and driven out of the private system people who could really afford to maintain their private health insurance, if it was an affordable option.
There is much more in this Budget than massive spending on capital works - $6 billion - to drive job creation. The Government has paid close attention to the future funding of training, education and health so that this community continues to be a coherent one. New South Wales is weathering the stresses of the recession much better than other States. When the economy starts to pick up, with the election federally of the Hewson government, this State will be in a position to offer better employment opportunities, better investment opportunities, a better business climate, and a better environment in which young people will be able to grow up with some hope for the future. I congratulate John Fahey on his Budget. It gives people hope and at the same time looks after those who may have fallen through the cracks of this recession; the recession which Paul Keating says is over; the recession which he said had to happen. It has happened all right and it is not over yet. New South Wales is doing what it can to help those people who have been affected by the recession and to give them some hope. I support this Budget for its humanity.
The Hon. JENNIFER GARDINER
[5.44]: I have pleasure in supporting the New South Wales Budget for 1992-93, a budget which has been very well received by the people of New South Wales. Though it gives me no pleasure to do so, it is interesting to compare the economic management of New South Wales with that of Victoria. Each day the new Government in Victoria learns more about the cause of the tragedy that afflicted the people of Victoria under the former Labor Government. I wish to speak on the two main budget sector items - education and health. I should like to take this opportunity to refute some remarks made by some honourable members opposite - particularly the Hon. Franca Arena - in their contributions to the budget debate. On 23rd September when speaking during the budget debate the Hon. Franca Arena severely criticised what she called the poor record of this Government in teaching languages other than English - the LOTE program. The very next day the criticisms were revealed to have no foundation when the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, and Minister for Employment and Training released the strategic plan for languages other than English of the Department of School Education. This plan embodies the Government's goals for the promotion of language study in New South Wales schools over the next decade and beyond. The Government's intentions for the promotion of the study of languages were outlined in the 1989 white paper entitled "Excellence and Equity". The white paper committed the Government to:
Designate the study of languages other than English as an integral and essential part of the curriculum.
It went further in that it spelled out the strategies needed to convert this commitment into a reality and it did so in a way which faced up to the realities of the time, including the lack of resources, that is, the supply of qualified, trained teachers for LOTE. The white paper addressed these resource constraints by outlining a strategy for phasing in of the Government's policy over three steps. The significance of these steps is not fully appreciated by some people who are otherwise well informed on matters relating to LOTE - and one of those people is the Hon. Franca Arena. The steps were deliberately and carefully planned to enable the achievement of the Government's ultimate goal for the teaching of languages. That goal is, in essence, that every student will have access to two years of language study in a junior secondary school and that a substantially greater number of students than at present will pursue in depth a special study of priority languages throughout their whole secondary schooling.
The steps were as follows: first, the study of a single language for one year would become mandatory for the school certificate, beginning with the 1996 year 7 cohort, that is, for the 1999 school certificate. This is the well-known 100 hours provision which has been ridiculed as a waste of time by the Hon. Franca Arena and others. It should be pointed out that we are talking student mastery of a language if the 100 hours constituted his or her total experience. But the point is that the 100 hours, about which the honourable member is complaining, is a beginning which is designed to introduce the study of languages in all high schools throughout the State which do not at present offer them. Its timing is also deliberate. It gives schools adequate notice and preparation time to plan for the introduction of this historic government initiative. The second step clearly outlined in the Government's white paper will be to double the amount of core time allocated in the study of a language other than English in the junior secondary school. The strategic plan of the Department of School Education, to which I have referred, takes this step forward by prescribing 200 hours of mandatory core study for students in government high schools by the year 2000. The third step, to be implemented at the same time as the first two, will encourage substantially more students to choose additional, in-depth study of languages.
The white paper encouraged the government school system to implement the Government's policies and strategies from 1991 onwards. The timing of the introduction of the mandatory 100 hours in the first instance was designed to allow all schools - including non-government school systems, independent schools, and government high schools which were not offering languages - the leeway to plan for the introduction of the mandatory requirement. I repeat that this is a minimum requirement on which the expansion of the teaching of languages will be built. The department's strategic plan advances the Government's policies for expanded LOTE teaching even further in its own system. It will also serve as an example for non-government systems and other schools to strive to achieve, if they are not already doing so. Key outcomes of the strategic plan will include: the offering of a range of languages which will accommodate community demand and the national interest; continuity of language study from kindergarten to year 12; an adequate supply of suitably qualified and trained teaching staff; and increased co-operation between the Department of School Education and ethnic school providers. There are other more important outcomes than the ones I have mentioned so far. If the Hon. Franca Arena were in the Chamber I would ask her the following questions: is this policy, this strategic plan and these government initiatives in LOTE teaching the "poor record of the present Government in language teaching" - a matter to which the Leader of the Opposition referred in his speech on 23rd August to a general meeting of the Ethnic Communities Council? Do these initiatives not constitute a vital, clear and achievable plan to advance the study of languages in New South Wales schools? As such, do they not stand in stark contrast with the decade of neglect in this area of language study inherited by this Government?
The Hon. D. F. Moppett:
This Government is focusing on issues, which is contrary to the condescending claptrap from the Hon. Franca Arena.
The Hon. L. D. W. Coleman:
She is hiding her head in shame.
The Hon. JENNIFER GARDINER:
Perhaps she has gone to study another language. These and other government initiatives make a nonsense of the claim by the Hon. Franca Arena that the school curriculum is failing because it ignores our Aboriginal population and our multicultural society. The Government's policy, far from ignoring our multicultural society, will further enrich it. At the same time it will advance the national interest as a whole and change the role of Australia in the international economy, trade and politics - a matter to which the Hon. Franca Arena referred. All 12 government priority languages are seen as strategically important to the nation for reasons too numerous to canvass in this Chamber. Suffice for the moment to say that, of the 12 languages, at least eight are spoken by major ethnic communities in Australia. Those eight languages do not include Japanese or German. Six of the priority languages are spoken in countries in the Asia-Pacific rim - a matter about which the Hon. Franca Arena, her leader and other people have made so much.
The Government is not ignoring the needs of the Aboriginal population - another claim made by the Hon. Franca Arena. Quite the opposite is the case. The Government is actively fostering them. For some time the Board of Studies has been conducting a study of the feasibility of introducing a generic framework for the development of syllabuses in Aboriginal languages in years 7 to 10 where schools and their communities see the desirability of introducing courses in languages. The board is also co-operating with its counterparts in South Australia and the Northern Territory in the development of a similar framework for years 11 and 12. The board's initiatives in these areas are of immense and historic significance to this State. A two-unit syllabus in Aboriginal studies will be examined for the first time at this year's higher school certificate examinations. I expect that a course in Aboriginal studies for years 7 to 10 will be implemented in 1993. Do these historic initiatives in Aboriginal education constitute an ignoring of our Aboriginal population - another matter to which the Hon. Franca Arena referred? Of course not! Contrary to the opinions expressed by the Hon. Franca Arena, the facts regarding the teaching of LOTE in New South Wales and the Government's policies in extending it were referred to by the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, and Minister for Employment and Training, the Hon. Virginia Chadwick, on 25th September, 1992, when she launched the strategic plan. She said:
Schools in New South Wales have embarked upon a massive program given that learning a second language, particularly an Asian language, has historically never been considered a high priority.
By the year 2010, every New South Wales Government school student from Kindergarten to Year 12 will be studying a language other than English.
By 1996, all students in Years 7 to 10 will study a language other than English for at least 100 hours.
This will be increased to 200 hours of study by the year 2000.
There is a range of strategies in place to increase the number of language teachers in schools and to upgrade the skills of existing language teachers.
Evidence of the Government's commitment to teaching languages other than English is seen in the massive retraining and professional development program for teachers which
the Government is currently putting into effect. So much for the contention of the Hon. Franca Arena that "we will not have teachers by 1996 and we will have difficulty finding students who have not been discouraged from learning another language". To monitor the development and implementation of strategies which will boost the study of languages in schools each region has been assigned a regional languages planning consultant. In addition, the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, and Minister for Employment and Training, the Hon. Virginia Chadwick, has established a ministerial advisory committee to keep her informed and to provide ongoing advice on developments in this most important area. Let me return to the disparaging comments of the Leader of the Opposition, as quoted by the Hon. Franca Arena, on the 100-hour mandatory requirement. The Leader of the Opposition referred to this requirement as an educational hoax and said:
Our survey revealed schools where up to five languages were being taught in year 7. This means a student might receive 15 to 20 hours of each language . . .
Some schools allow students to accumulate these to count towards the compulsory 100 hours . . .
Giving students a choice is fine - but allowing the requirement for 100 hours of language to be fulfilled in this manner is educational fraud. It is wasted educational time.
These are strong words. Perhaps they would have even greater force if the Leader of the Opposition had got his facts right. Unfortunately, he did not.
The Hon. J. R. Johnson:
His information right; not his facts.
The Hon. JENNIFER GARDINER:
He should have got his information right, as he certainly did not have any facts. It is abundantly clear from the Government's white paper, to which I referred earlier, and it is clear from what I have said today, that the mandatory core study of language by all students at some time during years 7 to 10 must be devoted to a single language from 1996 onwards. The arrangement to which the Leader of the Opposition was referring is called a smorgasbord or a series of taster courses designed to familiarise students with a range of languages and to confirm their subsequent choices of subjects for additional study. With the implementation of the mandatory 100 hours and, more particularly, the 200 hours, these taster courses will be a thing of the past. Great advances will be made in our school system with respect to the teaching of languages other than English.
I turn now to the health budget. I will focus particularly on rural health and women's health issues. People in rural New South Wales deserve the same access to health and excellence in health care that city people enjoy. The New South Wales coalition Government is the only government to have focused uniquely on rural health. The results of this new priority are expanded health services, more doctors and a better standard of health care for country people. This year $835 million will be spent on rural health - an increase of $185 million since 1988 when this Government was first elected. That represents a 16 per cent real funding increase since this Government came to office. That is indicative of the role of the National Party when in government. In addition, specific rural programs will receive funding boosts. The isolated patient travel and assistance scheme will receive $5.5 million, which is up $300,000 on last year's allocation. Aboriginal health will receive $8 million - a massive increase of 44 per cent on the allocation for 1991-92. The Government is committed to upgrading and rebuilding the network of hospitals and health services in rural New South Wales. Examples of where additional funds are being spent include: $8.8 million for the first stage of the
redevelopment of Wagga Wagga Base Hospital, which will cost a total of $15 million; $6.4 million for the final stage of the Lismore Base Hospital redevelopment, which will cost a total of $40 million; and $3.5 million for the interim redevelopment at Tweed Heads District Hospital, which will cost a total of $4.8 million. These areas were neglected by the previous Government, which resulted in a huge backlog in demand. Other examples of where additional funds are being spent include: $2.1 million for the interim redevelopment at Coffs Harbour and District Hospital, another part of New South Wales neglected by the Labor Party; $6 million towards the new base hospital at Albury; and $41.5 million for the redevelopment of Batemans Bay and Moruya hospitals.
The Hon. J. R. Johnson:
How much has been allocated for Port Macquarie?
The Hon. JENNIFER GARDINER:
Port Macquarie is doing fine. We expect contracts to be signed within the next few weeks. Work has already been completed on a number of redevelopments. An amount of $7 million has been allocated for Narrandera District Hospital; $5.2 million for St John of God Hospital at Goulburn; $2.1 million for Junee District Hospital; $790,000 for Narrabri District Hospital; and work has commenced on Parkes Community Health Centre. Planning has also commenced on the proposed redevelopment of the Maitland Hospital. An important feature of this year's Budget is an allocation of $475,000 to start four pilot projects under the joint State-Commonwealth multipurpose services program, which are more clumsily called MPS. The pilot projects are to be introduced at Baradine, Braidwood, Urana and Urbenville and will commence as soon as final agreement on the proposals is reached with the Commonwealth Government, which is responsible for funding aged care services. I shall refer in more detail to the MPS concept a little later. The 1990 Aboriginal health task force recommended that primary health posts managed by Aboriginal communities be established in isolated communities. The Government has acted on that recommendation and is establishing three primary care posts in areas where there are Aboriginal communities, namely Caroona and Tingha in the northwest of the State and Cabbage Tree Island on the North Coast. In 1988 the coalition Government set out a rural health policy called "Rural Health Meeting the Challenges". That policy has been instrumental in upgrading the standard of rural health care. Country hospitals are being upgraded and redeveloped and new hospitals are being built.
On 22nd September the Hon. Delcia Kite wrongly asserted that some country hospitals had been closed, when in fact they are open. It must have been a bad week for the Labor Party. She claimed in her speech that Quandialla, Binnaway and Ungarie hospitals are closed, but they are not; those hospitals are open and provide services and community health centres, which take account of changes in the local communities, their needs and local demographics. She also claimed that Yeoval Hospital was to be closed, leading to a community takeover of it as a co-operative. The Yeoval Hospital is running successfully as a co-operative, which is exactly what the local community required. Finding doctors to practise in country areas has become a problem in New South Wales in recent years. Since 1988 there has been an increase of 212 general practitioners in New South Wales. That is the dividend of the Government's initiatives. The rural doctors resource network was established to promote and encourage rural practice by providing support and access to continuing medical education for doctors in country areas. The rural doctors training unit was established at Tamworth Base Hospital to give specific continuing medical education to doctors in rural practice, thereby making the alternative more accessible.
I have had the privilege of meeting some of the young doctors at the rural doctors training unit at Tamworth. They are filled with enthusiasm for their future careers in country areas. Cadetships are being offered to medical students to attract them
to the country. Another indication of the Government's commitment to rural health was the hosting last month at Coffs Harbour by the Minister for Health, the Hon. Ron Phillips, of the second rural health forum. The Hon. Dr B. P. V. Pezzutti was also present at that conference, which was established to bring together people from every area of rural health to discuss issues and to plan for the future. The range of organisations represented at that conference was quite extraordinary. It included the Royal Flying Doctor Service; the Department of Health - and the Minister attended for the entire weekend; the Isolated Pharmacists Association; the New South Wales Council of Social Services; psychiatrists; country hospital board members; local area health services; private hospitals; the Country Women's Association; the Spastic Centre; the Marriage Guidance Council; the rural health unit, to which I have referred; the rural doctors resource network; physiotherapists from country areas; nurses; surgeons; Aboriginal medical services; pensioners and superannuants; the New South Wales Farmers Association; hospital auxiliaries; shire and city councils throughout country New South Wales; multicultural access and resource centres; the family medicine program; all the medical faculties of all New South Wales universities were represented; the Public Service Association; the Australian Medical Association; and the Family Planning Association. It was an extremely worthwhile conference for all people interested in health in country areas.
Under the joint State-Commonwealth hospital enhancement program $3.15 million worth of new technology will be provided to rural New South Wales to give country people access to sophisticated health and medical services across the State: at Orange, Murwillumbah, Hastings, Armidale, Tamworth, Dubbo, Goulburn, Bowral, Griffith, Albury, Leeton, Finley, Narrandera, Lithgow and Coffs Harbour. A budget allocation of $80 million is specifically targeted to women's health services. The construction of a 115-bed women's hospital will commence as part of the Liverpool Hospital redevelopment and planning for the relocation of all services currently provided by the Royal Hospital for Women will continue. The Minister has set up a Women's Hospital Advisory Council to advise the Minister on the relocation. In the meantime, $30 million will be provided this financial year for the continuing operation of the Royal Hospital for Women. This year more than $2 million has been allocated under the joint State-Commonwealth cervical cancer management and prevention program. The Government recognises the need to improve the general health status of Aboriginal women and their children and the necessity to provide access to health care services that are sensitive to Aboriginal culture and lifestyle. Aboriginal health promotion workers are employed in the community-based primary health care posts being constructed and Aboriginal women's health nurses are being recruited. This year $8 million has been allocated for supplementary Aboriginal health services - not only for women - and funding will continue to be increased over the next few years in line with the Government's commitment to increased expenditure on Aboriginal health to 1 per cent of the total health budget.
Non-government organisations will also receive assistance in the health budget. These include the allocation of $14 million for mammographic screening programs to screen 76,000 women under the State-Commonwealth program and more than $400,000 additional funding to bring specific maternity services funding to $3.6 million this year. That will fund postnatal, crisis and family support services, extension of early discharge programs, antenatal care clinics and birthing centres. The Government recognises the urgency of providing readily accessible 24-hour counselling and medical and education services to all victims of sexual assault. Funding for sexual assault services has been increased by $500,000 to $4 million. Throughout New South Wales 40 sexual assault centres operate at hospitals, community health centres and specialist child protection
units. Additional staff will be provided at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Orange Base Hospital, Bowral and District Hospital and Royal North Shore Hospital. A new service is being established at Kempsey. The Government has allocated $4.8 million for the Commonwealth-State national women's health program, which recognises the difficulties faced by Aboriginal, ethnic, rural and isolated women in accessing health services. Funding provided through the program enables existing women's health programs to be expanded, and gives particular emphasis to providing access to services for women with special needs. Women from non-English speaking backgrounds have been targeted by the Budget. They have difficulty in accessing mainstream health services, and $12 million has been provided for ethnic health services. It is estimated that about 60 per cent of those targeted are women and girls. The funding will provide for interpreter services, ethnic health workers, bilingual counsellors and community education programs.
In addition, $2.5 million has been voted for the employment of 60 women's health nurse practitioners across the State to provide easily accessible gynaecological health care to well women but in particular to isolated and socially disadvantaged women. Women's special health needs have been granted $800,000 for 16 health co-ordinators to advise area and regional health services on women's health issues and to oversee women's health programs. That is in addition to the $700,000 allocated for 15 women's health educators in the various regions. I am pleased to note that the Government has targeted women's health issues in particular in the Budget. I mentioned earlier the concept of multipurpose service centres for small communities in rural regions. One of the plans for smaller communities in respect of medical health services, which take into account the ageing population in rural villages and towns and the changed health and community service needs, is the joint State-Commonwealth support for the concept of multipurpose services. In this State four pilot projects have been planned, namely, at Braidwood, Urbenville, Urana and Baradine. The New South Wales Government is ready to roll, and has been ready for some time, with these pilot projects. In a press release issued at Grafton on 21st September the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services, the Hon. Brian Howe, addressed the topic "Rural Health and Aged Care Services". He referred to a recent report which urged improved multipurpose services for small rural communities.
Mr Howe said that the background paper to which I referred from the national health strategy provided a further challenge to the nation's health administrators to clarify the appropriate level and mix of services and to assist suitable rural communities to access and sustain a wider range of services. He said that a more flexible approach may overcome the traditional difficulties small rural communities face in attracting funding for acute care, nursing homes, and hostel and community-based services. He stated that the Commonwealth had accelerated the development of multipurpose services with the allocation of $9.8 million over five years in the recent Federal Budget, to fund co-ordinators in new multipurpose services and existing ones for small population areas. The national health strategy study of more than 600 rural communities in New South Wales and Queensland with a population of fewer than 10,000 has suggested that funding for health and aged care services in smaller rural communities should come from one funding program. The national health study background paper No. 11, entitled "Improving Australia's Rural Health and Aged Care Services", based on a survey of services in 684 rural communities in New South Wales and Queensland, found that existing Commonwealth and State funding arrangements are unsuitable for smaller rural communities. Of the 684 communities examined in the study the report recommended that 152 of them - 22 per cent - would be better served by the creation of one multipurpose service program. A further study of services is continuing for the rest of Australia.
The report says that these communities have populations of between 1,000 and 3,500, are not in densely settled areas and in many cases are located more than 100 kilometres from another centre with a hospital. One of the five options discussed in the report argues that these small communities are most disadvantaged by separate Commonwealth and State funding arrangements. It recommended that resources should be pooled for those programs currently allocated separately. The report highlighted that rural communities more than any other sector of Australian society are disadvantaged by the separate Commonwealth-State financing arrangements, the plethora of funding programs and the criteria for funding applied by each program. It proposed that the new program would replace those with one funding source and one set of funding guidelines. The New South Wales Government is keen to have these pilot programs established and analysed in consultation with the smaller local communities. Unfortunately, to date the Federal Government and the Deputy Prime Minister have not committed any funds for the aged care component of the four pilot programs. One must ask why there has been a delay. Certainly the New South Wales Government and the local communities are keen to proceed. One questions the commitment of the Federal Government, though I am aware that in the past few days Commonwealth Department of Health officers have had consultations with people at Braidwood; but the three other communities are yet to be consulted. I hope that proposal proceeds as expeditiously as possible, for it will make a big difference to those communities.
The Hon. D. F. Moppett:
It is eagerly awaited at Baradine.
The Hon. JENNIFER GARDINER:
That is so. It will make a big difference to the concept of improving and making more relevant the health services on offer to people who live in small villages and towns in New South Wales. As I said at the outset, there has been widespread and ready acceptance of the first Budget brought down by the Premier, and Treasurer, the Hon. John Fahey, assisted by the Minister for Finance, Assistant Treasurer, and Minister for Ethnic Affairs, the Hon. George Souris. This is a sensitive and caring Budget, as the Hon. Dr B. P. V. Pezzutti said in concluding his remarks. I agree that it is an extraordinarily generous Budget, particularly in areas that affect people personally, such as health and education. Given that we are in the recession that the former Federal Treasurer said we had to have, it is an extraordinary achievement. I commend the Budget.
[The President left the chair at 6.18 p.m. The House resumed at 8.30 p.m.
The Hon. A. B. MANSON
[8.30]: A number of my colleagues have said that this year's Budget shows that Greinerism is alive and is still working against the people of New South Wales. Generally, I agree. However, this Budget is a little different from other budgets. It is a fairly weak budget given the extent of the recession. The Government should have done a lot more to reduce the impact of the recession on ordinary families, the old, the sick, students and the unemployed. They are always hit hardest by difficult economic conditions. The same old waste of public moneys for political objectives is still happening. Even more upsetting is the amount of money unspent in major service departments: $79 million on health, $18 million on education and training and $33 on community services. In a time of recession how can $130 million not be spent by a Government in these vital areas?
On occasions in this House I have spoken about industrial relations, an area in which I have some experience. This Government's poor approach to industrial relations appears to be continuing under the new industrial relations Minister. I also understand the building industry in this State and its problems. Unlike most members of the
Government I have had firsthand experience, from all sides: as a worker, a unionist, and an employer who has overseen the construction of a number of projects. My colleague the Hon. J. W. Shaw had a number of things to say about the building industry royal commission: the waste of money; and the number of injustices it revealed. The amount of money this Government has wasted on public inquiries is huge. Figures taken from the last four reports of the New South Wales Auditor-General show just how much this Government has abused the special inquiry as a way of playing politics and avoiding real reform. For instance, volume 2 of the report of the New South Wales Auditor-General, 1988 to 1991, reveals that in 1988 more than $500,000 was spent on special inquiries; in 1989 more than $5.5 million was spent, an increase of 864 per cent; in 1990 more than $10 million was spent, an increase of more than 85.6 per cent; and in 1990-91 a massive amount of more than $17.5 million was spent on special inquiries, another increase of 70.3 per cent. With the end of the building industry royal commission the amount spent by the Government on inquiries has come down this year. But who knows when the next witch hunt will be.
I want to expand on what the shadow minister for industrial relations had to say, because construction is a vital part of any State's budget. The approach a government takes to construction has an impact on employment, wealth and the facilities of the people of the State. On 26th May the Royal Commission into Productivity in the Building Industry in New South Wales handed down the 5,000 pages of its final report. The Liberal Government claimed that implementing the report's recommendations would resolve the building industry's past problems. In some cases, that is true. The greatest opportunity to reform the industry would have been provided by stopping the rorts at the development, contracting and tendering levels but, as it turned out, the main thrust of the final report was to attack the unions. The Fahey Government continued to claim that this inquiry was a success and has threatened to deregister the Building Workers Industrial Union. In the building industry as a whole, the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the New South Wales Labor Council, the major employer associations and the Federal Government have rejected the move to deregister the Building Workers Industrial Union. No submission to the inquiry called for such action nor was it raised at any of the hearings as a possibility.
The industry and all other concerned groups - other than the Government in this State - have said also that the royal commission exercise was wasteful in that most of its recommendations are ill-informed. Honourable members know that the first aim of the Government in establishing the inquiry was to generate anti-union hype in an endeavour to give last year's Industrial Relations Act some credibility. Looking back, we see that it is also possible that its aim was always to try to deregister the Building Workers Industrial Union. This strategy was used successfully by the Thatcher Government in England to try to prevent workers from effectively organising. The Thatcher Government singled out a high profile, militant trade union - the Coal Miners Union - and eventually crushed it. The New South Wales Government has adopted already many of Thatcher's methods, such as ruthless privatisation and the sacking of vast numbers of public servants. This attack on the Building Workers Industrial Union is simply another to be included on the list. What was the verdict of the royal commission? Mr Roger Gyles, Q.C. in his final report on page 130 said:
There is no acceptable evidence of widespread or serious corruption of full-time union officials . . . There has been no evidence of systematic violence or physical intimidation by unions or unionists.
The former Premier on the same day that Mr Gyles' final report was handed down - 26th May - contradicted the commissioner in a most shocking way. A press release read:
Mr Greiner said the Royal Commissioner had uncovered evidence that violence, intimidation and unlawful industrial action were standard tools of the BWIU.
Both Mr Gyles and Mr Greiner wanted badly to make the Building Workers Industrial Union look corrupt in the media, despite the true findings of the inquiry. But honourable members should not be concerned with findings of a single verdict in the conduct of the Building Workers Industrial Union or any other union. Instead, the Government and the Parliament should be trying to find out whether the inquiry itself, and its recommendations were worth while, for the inquiry has cost the taxpayers of New South Wales a lot of money. Another thing that might have prompted Mr Greiner to opt for a royal commission may have been the fact that a royal commission was used successfully to remove the Builders Labourers Federation. However, the removal of that union from the industrial relations scene had broad political, employer, union and community support. In the case of the Building Workers Industrial Union the exact opposite is the case. Everyone but the Fahey Government regards the move as stupid. But it is more than stupid - it is a dangerous move to the industry, the economy of New South Wales, the welfare of construction companies, their employees and the State as a whole.
The effects of the royal commission on the industry become clear when we look at figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics for August this year. Australian Bureau of Statistics catalogue 1305.1 shows the value of building improvements in New South Wales each month. That is a useful guide to the level of planned building activity in this State. A glance at these figures show that in June this year - immediately after the release of the final report of the royal commission - total non-residential building approvals in this State dropped by over 28 per cent. The figure for non-residential building approvals in the previous six months has steadily increased. The construction industry started to make a modest recovery, especially in May, when these approvals increased by over 50 per cent. But that was before Mr Gyles delivered his report. July approvals for non-residential constructions fell by another 10.2 per cent, or $22.7 million. Victoria, the so-called recession State, experienced an increase of almost 50 per cent in non-residential constructions for the same month. Queensland and South Australia also show good increases. The Greiner-Fahey Government has scared investors and developers away from this State. It is reducing the chances of building workers to find jobs. It is discouraging capital growth in this State by playing a foolish game of union bashing for political advantages. It has even disrupted Sydney's Olympic bid. Budget Paper No. 2 establishes that the Olympic bid will require about $300 million worth of new construction, to be spent mostly on sporting facilities at Homebush Bay. This will provide many jobs and much needed infrastructure development. It will also provide sporting facilities for our youth and for our athletes. Mr Gyles, in his final report, devoted a whole section to the question of the Olympic Games. On page 88 of his final report, in a section which amounted to only eight lines, he said:
I have no need to remind anybody about the history of fiascos in major public construction in Sydney and Melbourne where, time after time, the political imperative has been ruthlessly exploited by the unions . . . Unless the measures that I recommend are taken now and rigidly enforced so as to, once and for all, break the culture of 19th century class warfare, then it is quite predictable that the same ruthless rorting of the system will again take place to the embarrassment of the nation and at the cost of the taxpayer.
Mr Gyles has again been proved wrong. The Building Workers Industrial Union and the union movement as a whole will not do anything that will upset the Olympic bid. In February this year unemployment in the building industry across the whole country peaked at 22.4 per cent. There is no way that the BWIU or any other building union
would do anything to harm the employment prospects of their members. A site agreement is working effectively at Homebush Bay. The unions are being attacked by the Liberal Government when they are trying to create real productivity reform in the industry. Mr Rod McGeogh, the chief executive of Sydney's Olympic bid, has publicly congratulated the union movement on its efforts in avoiding disputes and in making construction work more efficient at the Homebush site. In an article in the Australian Financial Review
on 3rd June, 1992, he said:
We've had the unreserved support of the union movement.
We've had more support than anyone is fairly entitled to. They've gone out of their way to support us and that's the truth.
Mr John Coates, President of the Australian Olympic Committee, said that Mr Gyles' comments might be used by other countries competing for the games. In many ways New South Wales is already worse off than the rest of the country. Under the present Government this State has had increases in taxes and charges that are higher than the increases in any other State. As a result of Greinerism 50,000 jobs have been axed. This Government is now weakening one of the most important industries in the State for a short-term political gain. New South Wales is the only State that has not joined the Federal Government's reform process for the building industry. Premier Fahey and the new Attorney General, and Minister for Industrial Relations, the Hon. John Hannaford, are denying workers access to career paths and improved training. They are failing to make industry more productive. Instead, they are attacking the legal entitlements of workers. This does not reduce the costs to builders or clients. The Industry Commission draft report on construction costs of major projects found:
. . . a ten per cent change in labour costs in construction would change production costs by only one per cent.
Honourable members would be aware that the total cost of the royal commission inquiry was $22.1 million. That represents a budget blowout of over $7 million. The inquiry, which was almost 50 per cent over budget, did not even report on time. After three extensions of time the report was delivered almost eight months late. It seems that the job was too big for Mr Gyles to handle by himself. At different times during the inquiry two additional Queen's Counsel had to be appointed as royal commissioners. Though it appears that the inquiry is over, costs are continuing to increase. Six months after the delivery of the final report the building industry task force, which was established by Mr Gyles and Mr Greiner, is still operating. Figures in the Fahey Government's 1992-93 Budget show the total cost to the taxpayer of this inquiry. Over the past two years $22.1 million was spent at a time of severe unemployment in the building industry and in the middle of a recession. The building industry task force received $2.8 million last financial year. It has been allocated another $5.6 million this year. That makes a total of $8.4 million, just for the task force. The total cost of the royal commission and the task force is over $30.5 million. This makes it the most expensive inquiry in the history of any Australian State. This House should examine the findings of the royal commission. Comments by Goran Runeson, senior lecturer at the school of building at the University of New South Wales, bring the value of the royal commission into more doubt. Mr Runeson, who was a task leader in the policy and research division of the royal commission, resigned after eight months as he was disappointed with the methods and integrity of the inquiry, to put it mildly. Since the handing down of the final report he has published a paper entitled "A Review of the Research of the Royal Commission into Productivity in the Building Industry". In that review he said:
The research program which was announced by the Commissioner in December 1990, was extremely extensive even considering that the research department has a staff of some 30 research and support officers . . .
Even by international standards, this would be one of the best funded industries ever.
So far it sounds good. One would have thought that this inquiry would have had something constructive to offer to the construction industry. That is not the case. Mr Runeson then said:
The result of the review is that the Commission's research demonstrates a consistent failure to understand or to apply appropriate research procedures. Instead, there is evidence of an intentional or unintentional bias that distorts the findings and exaggerates the problems and the poor performance of the industry.
In each of the areas examined, the findings can and should be challenged and in several cases, conclusions should be reversed.
He also noted:
Further evaluation of the research findings of the Royal Commission is required, if not for the reason of ascertaining the taxpayer's value for money, at least in order to test the credibility of the inquiry's recommendations.
That has not been done by the Government. To do so, the Government would be admitting that it has spent so many millions of dollars and attacked building workers without cause. The money is still being spent. The building industry task force is still costing millions and is based on a flawed inquiry with flawed recommendations. The task force has 55 staff, six of whom have been operating for almost a year. Nine of its employees are employed under the Public Sector Management Act, that is, they are members of the very highly paid New South Wales senior executive service. Despite having such a well-staffed and well-funded body, the Government still claimed it needed the Crown Solicitor's advice about the possibility of taking deregistration action against the Building Workers Industrial Union and the Master Builders Association. I do not know where the task force intends to take the industry or whether it will improve the industry's productivity. I have serious doubts about that. The task force should look at its own productivity before it attacks the building industry. The most positive action the Government could take would be to offer the results of the royal commission to the Construction Industry Development Agency and join in the Federal program for reform of the industry. In this way the industry in New South Wales would not be sold out to political interests and it would have the opportunity of sharing in the benefits of a national approach. If the Government does not take this action the State and Federal governments will spend scarce resources on the same industry. Let us face it: it is a national industry. It will also allow the results of the royal commission and its recommendations to be tested, which is clearly required in the interests of New South Wales taxpayers. This Government should stop union bashing and get on with the job of running the State in the interests of all the people of New South Wales.
The Hon. ELAINE NILE
[8.51]: I wish to speak to the 1992-93 Budget with reference to the families of New South Wales who are experiencing severe economic pressures as a result of Mr Keating's recession, in addition to the ongoing tremendous social and moral pressures on our New South Wales families which are being caused by the anti-family policies of government-funded organisations such as the Family Planning Association and other similar organisations. I take this opportunity to congratulate Mr Fahey on assuming the office of Premier of New South Wales and on his first Budget. I am sure Mr Carr and Mr Egan will agree that their simple-minded strategy to
destroy Mr Greiner as Premier, in co-operation with Mr Hatton, Ms Clover Moore and Dr Macdonald in the other place, has seriously backfired in view of Mr Fahey's growing popularity as Premier, in view of his high polling figures, and Mr Carr's declining poll figures. An article in the Daily Telegraph Mirror
dated 14th October stated:
Premier John Fahey has extended his lead over Opposition leader Bob Carr in both personal approval and as preferred Premier in a new poll.
The AGB Australia poll, published in the latest Bulletin magazine, put support for the Coalition government at 41 per cent, just one point ahead of the ALP.
However, Mr Fahey's personal approval rating was up three points to 45 per cent, with just 14 per cent (up one point) disapproving of the Premier. Mr Carr's approval rating fell by one point to 33 per cent, while his disapproval rating was up one point to 37 per cent.
In the contest for the preferred premier, Mr Fahey's rating improved by three points to 50 per cent, while Mr Carr's was down three points to 29 per cent.
To quote previous speakers, the blow torch has not yet been fully applied to Mr Fahey. He is under close scrutiny in many areas. He is being watched to see whether he reverses some of the anti-family policies which seriously undermined Mr Greiner's moral credibility. In the area of brothels, the Call to Australia believes that Mr Fahey must reverse Mr Greiner's policy promoted by Mr Collins to legalise the 812 brothels in New South Wales. Mr Fahey must reverse Mr Greiner's policy to accept the indecent homosexual and lesbian mardi gras parade as a major New South Wales tourist attraction, his policy to give only a pittance to the innocent AIDS victims and their dependents in New South Wales, and his policy for a compulsory AIDS education kit and a compulsory homosexual promotion kit, disguised as a so-called homophobic kit, in our New South Wales schools. The New South Wales Council of Churches has issued a statement on this homophobic kit. Every member of the Chamber has been provided with a copy of this statement by the New South Wales Council of Churches. Even at this late stage Mr Fahey should reverse Mr Greiner's unpopular, anti-family policy for legal casinos in New South Wales. As happened with Eastern Creek, the Government is already spending taxpayers' money - $1.6 million in the 1992-93 Budget for the Casino Control Authority. What happened to the promised casino inquiry into the impact of a casino on other forms of gambling and especially the registered clubs in New South Wales with one million members? In Mr Fahey's Budget Speech delivered in the other place on Tuesday, 15th September, he said:
Over the last couple of years economic hardship has become a sad fact of life for too many people in New South Wales.
The national recession has taken a disastrous toll. Families have suffered falling living standards. breadwinners have faced unemployment, school leavers have had to learn about being out of a job before enjoying the benefits of having one.
The State Government is also under economic pressure. At this time when members of the public need most support the State Government is itself under enormous financial strain. The increased community need and the shrinking revenue base are the crushing pressures my Government faced in formulating a Budget for these difficult times.
Mr Fahey rightly identifies those being hard hit by the Keating recession. He said:
The national recession has taken a disastrous toll.
The Call to Australia party supports that observation. Mr Fahey went on to say:
Families have suffered falling living standards.
That is certainly the understatement of the year. Families are being devastated by the recession. Mr Fahey also rightly said:
Breadwinners have faced unemployment.
I am pleased Mr Fahey has used the term "breadwinner", which usually refers to the male member of the family; he is the traditional breadwinner. I am sure some of the radical feminist socialists in this House would like to see the description "breadwinner" banned. Unfortunately, many mothers and wives have been forced into the paid employed work force because of the severe economic pressures - Federal Labor Party tax policies and social engineering by feminist academics and other anti-family advisers and organisations such as the Women's Electoral Lobby. There are one million unemployed in Australia including many thousands of traditional breadwinners. We have a contradiction in our Australian society in that many male breadwinners are on the dole because of the huge percentage of women who have been forced into the work force because of economic pressures, and who are working only because their families require a second income. One of the main pressures causing families to need a second income was the disgraceful, exploitive high interest rates which were presided over by Mr Keating as Federal Treasurer - exorbitant interest rates from 20 per cent to 28 per cent.
What are the employment figures for Australia? What impact are married women having on our employment figures? At August 1992 the total number of Australians, both male and female, in full-time employment was 5,861,600 - nearly six million. At August 1992 the total number of males in full-time employment was 3,994,400 - nearly four million. At August 1992 the total number of married females in full-time employment was 1,059,600 - over one million married females in the full-time work force, about the same number as our Australian unemployed. There were an additional one million married women in part-time employment which caused families to go bankrupt and have their homes auctioned by the banks over their heads, or forced families off their farms on to the dole, or caused farmers' wives to take on full-time jobs because of poor income from the farm, and or caused the farmer himself to seek employment in nearby towns to supplement the family income. Recent evidence suggests that 70 per cent to 80 per cent of married women are working simply to supplement family incomes. A survey by the Federated Clerks Union of Australia showed that if the Government introduced appropriate financial assistance for families, 32.6 per cent of married women would leave the employed work force. Obviously those women are an unwilling factor in the high unemployment levels among young people, especially young males and older male job seekers.
Taxation reforms which allowed families to split income across the whole family unit for the purposes of taxation would dramatically ease the present financial pressure on married women, especially young mothers, to seek full-time employment to supplement family incomes. However, through its anti-family advisers from the Women's Electoral Lobby, the Federal Government has opposed the introduction of income splitting for the purposes of estimating taxable income and thereby reducing taxation for single income families. WEL claimed, "Income splitting provides a disincentive for the second adult to join the paid work force". It is ridiculous for the Federal Government to maintain a taxation policy that deliberately encourages second income earners when many Australian families have no income earners. Worse still, with the declining birth rate and the greying of the nation's population, State and Federal governments have encouraged young married women to enter the work force by
promoting equal opportunities and increased child care services; DINKs - double income, no kids - have become a worrying phenomenon of the 1980s. DINKs are a new style selfish family unit. The Premier, and Treasurer said:
School leavers have had to learn about being out of a job before enjoying the benefits of having one.
Going straight from school on to the dole is soul destroying for a young person facing the world. High youth wages, which were a short-sighted policy of the union movement, meant that few employers were prepared to take on young people for training and development, particularly in the unskilled fields, and especially if the wages for an experienced adult were at the same level. We have the tragedy of a 30 per cent to 40 per cent level of youth unemployment, especially in regions such as Newcastle and Wollongong. In his Budget Speech Mr Fahey made further reference to the special needs of families. He said:
If the Government starts padding the public service, and clinging on to jobs that are better done by the private sector, then we will throw away our chance to develop an economically secure future for our children.
Call to Australia believes that children are the nation's most important asset. Mr Fahey, referring to the new budget procedures which are more accurate, said:
This demonstrates the Government's commitment to "truth in budgeting".
We want truth in budgeting, but more importantly we want truth in policies, especially truth in family policies, and truth about the family itself. What are the Government's family policies? What does the Government define as a family? What is a family in the view of the Government? In his Budget Speech Mr Fahey spelled out his so-called family support package. He said:
A major initiative of the Budget is a $10 million Family Support Package to assist people and families particularly hard hit by the recession. The package includes: family support initiatives; rental and mortgage relief; financial counselling and training of financial counsellors; rural counselling services; and enhancements of the community services grants program to continue last year's initiative.
The package is aimed at helping people through what we hope is the last year of this disastrous national recession. It will be co-ordinated by the Department of Community Services, but will involve several other departments and major non-government and charity organisations which have provided valuable guidance in developing this package.
Mr Fahey has a $10 million family support package - only $10 million - but it is meaningless if the Government has no clear idea as to what is a family or who will receive this support. During the debate on the Government Pricing Tribunal Bill on 5th May Call to Australia moved and strongly pressed an amendment to include a clear and workable definition of family. The amendment was as follows:
In subsection (1)(i) "family" means an organic unit composed essentially of a man and a woman related by marriage and the children of either or both of them by blood or adoption, whether or not in a wider relationship of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
The amendment was opposed by members of the Liberal Party, the Australian Democrats and the Australian Labor Party, who said that no one was any longer certain as to what is a family. The Hon. R. S. L. Jones of the Australian Democrats said:
Though I appreciate the honourable member's concern about the family, his definition of family is very restrictive. It is discriminatory against anyone who is not married with children. It eliminates single women, single mothers, single fathers and many other people. It would create chaos if this amendment were to be accepted by the Government.
Call to Australia believes that if the Government does not accept the traditional definition of the family further chaos will be caused. The Leader of the Opposition, the Hon. Michael Egan, said this:
On behalf of the Opposition I point out that the definition of family which Reverend the Hon. F. J. Nile seeks to have inserted in the bill is so narrow as to not include a widow and her children. They would not be considered a family. The amendment states, in part, "family means an organic unit composed essentially of a man and a woman related by marriage and the children". In other words, if the family does not consist of a man and a woman related by marriage in the organic unit, in accordance with the terms of this definition, it is not a family. That is an absurdity.
Reverend the Hon. F. J. Nile proceeded to say:
That is a misreading of the definition. That is what a family is in its first state.
He proceeded to say that the definition in the amendment was similar to the definition in the Family Law Act and that no one had found fault with that. Members cannot have it both ways. The Hon. E. P. Pickering said in relation to the family - which we believe is God's family:
I am conscious that debate on the parliamentary or legislative definition of the word family would be rather unusual. Some 30 years ago it would have been a simple debate; today it is not. I do not wish to canvass a subject about which I have limited or no expertise, but I am satisfied that under the provisions of the legislation a family, however defined, is protected as a consumer within society.
What has changed over the past 30 years so that the Government no longer knows what is a family and is not prepared to define that term? It is vital that honourable members clearly understand what is a family, in spite of modern trends and confusion among members of the Government and Opposition. The percentage of traditional families in Australian society is not really relevant in discussing what is a family. If governments were clear as to what was a family and developed policies to support the family, there would be a rapid growth in traditional families in this country. But when governments are unclear as to what is the God-given, basic and natural unit of society - the family - it is no wonder that the Government's policies are confused and often undermine, damage and even destroy traditional families, for instance with the Family Law Act, de facto legislation and homosexual legislation. When governments are not clear about the family, it is not surprising that they provide million dollar grants to organisations such as the Australian Family Planning Association, which is advocating and teaching anti-family policies through its literature and teachers, as is clearly demonstrated by the FPA's so-called sex diary and teenage hot line.
In spite of the great criticisms of the FPA's policies by leaders as diverse as Mr Keating and Mr Greiner, there has been no reduction in Federal or State grants. In fact, the grants have been increased. In the 1992-93 Budget the FPA received $5 million from the Federal Government and more than $1.5 million from the New South Wales Government. The Government announced the FPA grant and we have tried to ascertain the details of it but have been told that nothing has been put down in black and white. In 1990-91 the FPA received $4,513,256 from the Federal Australian Labor Party Government and $983,558 from the New South Wales Liberal Party-National Party Government. In 1991-92 the Family Planning Association received Commonwealth
Government grants of $4,731,933, State Government grants of $1,556,630 and FPA-generated income of $1,260,724. In the area of Federal Australian Labor Party Government grants in 1992-93 financial assistance of $13.9 million was provided to non-government family planning associations for clinical services, part of which is paid in lieu of benefit for medical services provided in clinics and for education and training. That is a large sum of money. On 5th March I questioned the FPA sex diary in this Chamber. I asked the Minister for Health and Community Services:
Has the Department of Health approved the distribution of the offensive fact and fantasy sex diaries and or the operation of the family planning teenage hot line? Is it a fact that the controversial teenage sex diary produced by the Family Planning Association was distributed to Vietnamese teenagers attending the Sydney Indo-Chinese Refugee Support Group residential program on 20th to 24th January, which was organised by the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital? Will the department conduct a public inquiry into the health policies and health material being distributed by the Family Planning Association to hospitals, schools and community health centres in view of the New South Wales Government funding of $983,558 - almost $1 million - which the Family Planning Association received in 1991?
On 4th March I questioned the FPA teenage sex hot line and asked the Minister for School Education and Youth Affairs:
The Hon. R. B. Rowland Smith:
What was the involvement of the Minister's department in the recruitment of schoolchildren from New South Wales public schools as counsellors for the controversial teenage sex hot line? Does the Minister's department approve of this teenage sex hot line, as the Family Planning Association has now stated it will fund its continued operation? Was the associated so-called Fact and Fantasy Sex Diary which was produced by the Family Planning Association distributed in New South Wales schools? Will the Government conduct a public inquiry into the various materials introduced by the Family Planning Association into New South Wales public schools?
The honourable member should ease up. She will beat Let's Elope's record.
The Hon. ELAINE NILE:
The Hon. R. B. Rowland Smith must be the only member listening because he is the only one with a problem. A respected medical expert and director of the Waverley Family Planning Centre, Dr Kevin Hume, closely examined these two activities from a medical point of view. His report stated:
This gem has been produced at taxpayers expense by the Commonwealth Department of Health, Housing and Community Services. It is difficult to believe that it is the product of a mature, responsible adult, much less someone who heads a government department and answerable to his constituents.
According to the World Health Organisation, the world experiences 250 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases annually. This diary of disaster is aimed at ensuring that young Australians will contribute their quota. Its boast is that it was written and designed by "47 other young people". At the launch of the project, it was claimed that these had undergone a whole three months of training to equip them with the expertise to man a telephone hotline to answer "Everything you want to know but are too afraid to ask. For young people. By young people". Now, that is a task that few mature adults would confidently undertake.
That project was sponsored by the education unit of the Family Planning Association of New South Wales. The family element in that title is an anomaly as the whole scheme is promoted as an exercise in promiscuous sexual behaviour without pregnancy or, if it occurs, bringing such an inappropriate slip to an abrupt end without parental consent or even knowledge if the careless girl is over 14 years of age. The FPA has long laid claim to surrogate parenthood, replacing, by self appointment, allegedly delinquent parents in dispensing advice on every aspect of sexuality. The FPA always stands ready to shield
rebellious adolescents who wish to indulge at an ever earlier age in sexual activity from dissenting parents, whether they are delinquent or not. At the end of the book, in Streetwize
comic-style, reminiscent of Martin Sharpe in OZ
fame, who reshaped undergraduate morality in the early 1960s, there is a long list of adolescent legal rights. That is the type of information the FPA has been handing out for years, having carefully culled items for the benefit of independent-minded teenagers. Perhaps a selection of three will give honourable members a general idea:
you cannot be held guilty of any crime until you are 10;
you can choose your own god(s) at any age;
you can buy condoms from a chemist at any age.
It is interesting that the FPA is providing helpful hints on criminality to children who have not yet reached the streetwise age of 10. The second item is the only advice the booklet offers on religion. It is well known that the philosophy of the FPA is that of secular humanism - where anything goes that does not harm other persons. The unborn is the only exception, but one must allow for that anomaly as the unborn, at any stage, in the FPA hierarchy of values, is denied the status of personhood. Nevertheless, the diary at its beginning offers two full pages on a star guide to romance - astrology - ensuring the adolescent of a sure guide to correct behaviour. The FPA, in company with many others who should, and in fact do, know better, makes its own act of faith, declaring its staunch belief in the efficacy of the condom. The condom has a long-established reputation as an ineffective preventive of both conception and sexually transmitted diseases, even in the hands of mature adults. How well will it perform when used by inexperienced adolescents? There has been much publicity about adolescent overindulgence in alcohol, which, as is well known, lowers both efficiency and compliance. Though the diary offers plenty of hints from pop idols on how to persuade a partner to come to bed - but not to rest - it is short on advice on self-control. Alcohol, as well as sex, has its attractions for the immature. The advice offered appears to be limited only to mixing drugs and alcohol - perhaps an editorial oversight. Careful surveys of condom use have shown pregnancy rates of 5 per cent to 15 per cent, the better figure achieved by more experienced, more determined adults, while condoms as a preventive of sexually transmitted diseases have failed to make a dint in the 250 million new cases annually.
The Hon. R. B. Rowland Smith:
Is the Hon. Elaine Nile going to tell them to keep their hands off each other?
The Hon. ELAINE NILE:
As I said, this was written by a doctor who specialises in this area. Perhaps the generation of the Hon. R. B. Rowland Smith knew about self-control or maybe the honourable member did not - I do not know. However, today adolescents are not learning to control their emotions and how to keep their hands behind their backs. In a recent article of WHO Drug Information
, volume 5, No. 2, pages 57 to 58, 1991, at least 25 per cent of the women whose partners used condoms experienced a significant bacterial invasion of the bladder after intercourse. Honourable members might be interested in this as this matter has been discussed in the Chamber. The condom has been in widespread use for 100 years, its deficiencies being widely acknowledged. The AIDS safe sex campaign has invested it with hitherto unrecognised effectiveness as the white knight of the promiscuous sexually active of whatever sexual preference. A great opportunity has been lost in the diary to give adolescent girls worthwhile information about their fertility, which would answer so many questions as yet unasked.
I would be surprised if the would-be operators of the telephone hot line could
pass even a primer on their knowledge of the readily recognisable cervical mucous appearance as a reliable indicator of the fertile phase in the menstrual cycle. Yet this is vital information that is every woman's right to possess, at least from the commencement of menstruation. The author said that for more than 20 years he had been handing out this information, with strong parental approval, to girls as young as 11. The FPA as a surrogate parent is a slow learner. The information on the pill is slick but slight and falls far short of what the drug companies offer, even on its mode of action, which does far more than prevent ovulation. The number of drug companies producing the pill has dropped in recent years from 13 to four and the executives of the giant multinational company Schering AG Berlin are profoundly depressed about prospects for their product. Why? Why not ask the knowledgeable hot line counsellor? That brings me to the pap smear and why its regular administration is so enthusiastically promoted by sponsors of the diary. Girls who become sexually active before cervical tissues have fully matured, especially if they are generous in sharing their sexual experiences with a variety of partners, are prone to picking up infections such as venereal warts. This topic was raised on radio today. This infection attacks the immature cervical tissues, initiating abnormal cell activity, which, if not detected early, will lead to invasive cancer. The pill, if taken early and long enough, is under a cloud of suspicion as being a co-factor in the development of these precancerous changes.
The Hon. R. B. Rowland Smith:
What has this to do with the Budget?
The Hon. ELAINE NILE:
It has a lot to do with the Budget because this Government gives almost $1 million to the Family Planning Association. I am concerned about the young girls in particular of the State of New South Wales who are being taught how to be promiscuous. Honourable members have discussed cancer of the cervix in this Chamber.
Order! The honourable member will address the Chair.
The Hon. ELAINE NILE:
The early changes can be detected by a regularly performed pap smear: they are not curative; they simply alert the doctor to the nasty things that are happening. Early promiscuous sexual activity - condoms, pills or not - exposes the adolescent girl to all sorts of risks with potentially unpleasant consequences, not the least of which is compromising her fertility and ultimately the chance of a stable, lifelong relationship in marriage. Another question for the hot line might be: why is such a fun thing as adolescent sex fraught with so many nasty consequences? There are several answers, but one will do, from Dr Kevin Hume: "God always forgives; man only sometimes; but nature never". Given the huge government grants to the FPA, this Government and this Parliament should be more aware of its origins and policies. What are the origins of the FPA? What are the origins of this sex-obsessed organisation? How is it accountable to the taxpayer? What are its policies and philosophies?
A paper written by the FPA titled "The FPA of New South Wales - It's Origins and Policies" states that it began as a race improvement society, in the Nazi style, in 1926, "for the teaching of sex education, eradication of venereal disease and community instruction along eugenic lines". The name was changed to the Racial Hygiene Association, the RHA in 1929. This name was retained until 1960 when, over some opposition, it was changed to the Family Planning Association of New South Wales. Eugenics is defined as pertaining to race improvement by judicious mating. This practice was refined and developed by Hitler's Schutzstaffel under Himmler to produce a so-called master race. The Racial Hygiene Association - the mother of the FPA - in its annual report for 1937-38 said it also concerned itself with "the mentally ill and intellectually
handicapped, sending many letters and deputations calling for special schools, segregation colonies and" - another Nazi policy - "the compulsory sterilisation for mentally deficient and retarded children". Overseas contacts were maintained from the earliest days of the RHA.
The Hon. Patricia Forsythe:
This is really relevant to the Budget.
The Hon. ELAINE NILE:
If the honourable member listens, she may learn something she did not know before. It was affiliated to the British Social Hygiene Council in 1928-29 and 1930-31 with two RHA members also being members of the American Social Hygiene Association at that time. In 1952 the RHA was granted associate membership of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, first established in Bombay in 1952. The aim of the Family Planning Association of New South Wales was to establish clinics in several Australian States to achieve eligibility for full membership of the IPPF. The authors of the paper said:
This hope had been expressed from the earliest days of the RHA but was not achieved until 1969.
In 1960, when the Racial Hygiene Association of Australia changed its name to the Family Planning Association of Australia, the pill was granted limited approval for two years by the Food and Drug Administration of the United States of America. Although it is now recognised that trials of the pill had been inadequate, it was introduced in 1961 into Australia and to the United Kingdom on the advice of the FPA of that country. Doctors in Australia were flooded with literature, the likes of which had never been seen before or since, singing the praises of G. D. Searle's product, Enovid. By the 1960s the sexual revolution, which had begun in the previous decade, was well under way. The decade was one of challenge to authority of every kind, including parental authority. Armed with the pill and the second generation intra-uterine devices, and being realistic in accommodating itself to the new trends in sexual behaviour, the FPA found it had a new role to play. It readied itself to offer birth control advice "without regard to marital status and for social as well as medical reasons". It found it was also necessary to devise means of short-circuiting parental authority to properly fulfil its new-found mission. The pill had quickly established itself as the world's leading recreational drug. It was the ideal fuel for the sexual revolution.
With the Abortion Act of 1967, soon followed by similar South Australian legislation in 1969, and the Menhennit and Levine judgments of Victoria and New South Wales in 1969 and 1971, the way was clear for the FPA to offer formal abortion as a backstop for failed or careless contraception. The FPA, strapped both by the inadequacies of contraceptives and those of would-be users, is continually being faced with unplanned pregnancies. Post-coital contraception - either the IUD or the morning-after pill - is increasing in popularity. Many people, especially young people desensitised by constant propaganda, have come to regard early human life as of little consequence and not to be compared in value with the freedom from the inconvenience of pregnancy. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who would be admired by most people in this country, is very critical of modern, selfish, permissive attitudes where the child is regarded as the enemy of society. The pill has been the most effective, widespread, modern contraceptive, but part of its mode of action is to render the uterine lining unreceptive to early human life. In the interests of safety for the woman, its effectiveness is now reduced to a critical level where failure to prevent pregnancy is a constant risk. The FPA is also an enthusiastic member of the Planned World Parenthood Federation which has a shocking record in the United States of America and underdeveloped nations.
What are our Call to Australia group's recommendations concerning the FPA and the high government grants in this 1992-93 Budget? What should the Government do concerning the FPA? What action should the Government take concerning the huge grants that will be paid to the FPA in this 1992-93 New South Wales State Budget? Honourable members should remember, as I said at the beginning of my speech, that the former Premier and the Prime Minister have condemned the work of the FPA - the Sex Diary - yet how easily we are conned into accepting this organisation. The New South Wales grant to the FPA should be suspended immediately and action should be taken to have the Federal Government cancel its annual grants of $5.5 million. The FPA should follow the user-pays principle and be completely self-supporting. The FPA should take its hand out of the taxpayers' pockets. Government authorities and departments such as Pacific Power, the State Rail Authority, et cetera, now have to be self-supporting. The FPA should rely on donations from its supporters and not put its hand out for grants from taxpayers who are totally opposed to its policies and activities.
The annual grants to the FPA exceed $1.5 million from the New South Wales Government and more than $13 million for Australia from the Federal ALP Government, with no real accountability. A public inquiry under the control of a Supreme Court judge should be held into FPA, its policies, activities, funding and expenditure. The Government should suspend the authority for the FPA instructors to have access to all government primary and secondary schools in New South Wales until the public inquiry is completed and parents know exactly what is going on in the classroom. I recently received a complaint from a mother in relation to a mixed class attending an FPA class. Her daughter came home quite distraught that she had to put a condom on a life-sized model of a penis. Before closing I would like to pay tribute to a very special group of Australian families, including two members of my own family, who have suffered emotionally and physically for many years. At last their service, sacrifice and suffering have been recognised and honoured. They are the servicemen who served Australia - some of whom served and died - in Vietnam for the cause of freedom. To those who fought and survived and returned home - not to a heroes' welcome but to a hateful, noisy, foul-mouthed, red paint-throwing, left-wing minority on parade - on behalf of Call to Australia I express heartfelt and sincere thanks. We are proud of them. The dedication of the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial meant more than the words of any political leader could express. Mrs Constable of Bayview in New South Wales expressed exactly the feelings of many true-blue Australians when she said:
As a Vietnam war widow, I have just returned from Canberra, having attended the dedication of the Australian Vietnam Forces Memorial.
Words are inadequate to describe the feeling abounding in Canberra over this weekend. Suffice to say that it has been an experience that will remain indelible in my memory.
I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Australian Vietnam Forces Memorial Committee for making this splendid memorial a reality. Also to thank the Returned Soldiers League and the chairman of the council of the Australian War Memorial for their consideration of the next of kin.
I know that I speak for all next of kin when I extend to Carey McQuillan (Project Manager, Next of Kin) a special thank you and our heartfelt gratitude. Over the past five years, since the Welcome Home in October 1987, this magnificent man has tirelessly traced the families of 504 servicemen and women who died in the war.
He has ensured that the next of kin have been presented with an Australian flag in memory of their loved one, even travelling overseas to accomplish his mission.
I know Carey's mates that did not return would indeed be proud of him for a job well done: he exemplified the indomitable spirit for which the Australian Vietnam War Veterans are renowned.
The Vietnam war did something that I guess previous wars did not do; it was a different type of warfare. I know from my own family experience that it had a tremendous effect on those who did return. Call to Australia, along with Mrs Constable, salutes those who served and died, as well as those who returned. If this coalition Government wishes to retain the respect and support of the majority of New South Wales people it should start to act and govern as a conservative government. Often we hear the Hon. J. W. Shaw referring to the Government as a conservative government. I do not believe it is a conservative government in the true sense of the word. Honourable members have only to look at some of the immoral legislation that it proposes, such as that relating to brothels, to see this. Many country people and supporters of the Liberal Party are disappointed and now question the policies of this coalition Government, especially on important issues such as traditional family life and respect for human life, particularly that of the unborn child in the womb. Members of the older generation are deeply disappointed by the Government's turnaround on moral issues and issues that affect traditional family life. People are now saying around the traps that the Liberal Party-National Party Government sounds like a Labor government, especially so far as those traditional issues are concerned.
When the Government comes to assess programs and organisations that might receive grants from the taxpayers, and when it introduces legislation, perhaps it could use these words from Holy Scripture as a suitable guideline. Of course Holy Scripture is the Bible. I will read from what St Paul says. Many people may think this is rather strange but I believe that any government that follows these policies and looks at each piece of legislation in this manner cannot go wrong. I paraphrase from what St Paul said: finally, whatever government you may be, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think, and pass legislation on those things.
The Hon. J. M. SAMIOS
[9.35]: I support the Budget and, in doing so, I wish to address some remarks in this debate to the Government's allocation for the arts and cultural activities. I am delighted that the Government's strong support in this area has been maintained. The past year has also brought a number of significant new initiatives in the arts. That these have been possible in a climate of severe economic constraint is a tribute to the efforts of the Minister for Arts, the Hon. Peter Collins, and to his ministry. I believe it is fair to say that this State has rarely had a more committed, resourceful and supportive arts Minister. I was delighted that Peter Collins retained this portfolio after the ministerial changes in June. I congratulate him on his efforts. The budget for the arts for 1992-93 is $134.5 million. This comprises $113.5 million in recurrent expenditure and $20.9 million in capital funding, and compares with $113.4 million in recurrent expenditure and $23.03 million in capital funding in 1991-92. Generally speaking, the budget for recurrent purposes has not increased on last year's allocation. There has been a small escalation in salary-related expenses of 1.5 per cent. However, cultural grants have increased from $9.347 million to $9.403 million and the library book vote by 2.9 per cent to $1.966 million. In common with other government departments, productivity savings of 1.5 per cent were applied again this financial year and totalled $1.22 million. The ministry is therefore operating with increasing efficiency within its budget allocation.
I was especially delighted to see in this year's Budget Papers a special enhancement of $500,000 for the New South Wales Film and Television Office. This is one of the few increases in budget outlays possible in the present economic climate, and the funds will be put to good use in stimulating film production and investment in this State. The Film and Television Office is the smallest but one of the most active and productive of the State's cultural institutions. It replaced the former unprofitable and unwieldy Film Corporation. It has an excellent record in stimulating the local industry through script development and other measures. No doubt honourable members are aware of the success of the recent film, "Strictly Ballroom". I remind honourable members that this film received seeding funding of $30,000 from the Ministry of the Arts. I spoke to the film's producer who said that without the $30,000 they certainly could not have got off the ground to produce a film that cost approximately $3.5 million. The film has gone around the world and has been pre-sold in a great number of countries. I was privileged to be in Melbourne with the Minister for Arts at the Australian Film Industry awards when "Strictly Ballroom" won eight awards. We can be very proud of the first decision made by Greg Smith, the head of the Film and Television Office - it was a winner. New South Wales has lost some ground to other States, particularly Queensland, where superior studio facilities exist, but the new measures proposed by the Government will help the Film and Television Office redress that deficiency.
The Budget makes provision also for continued capital funding for the major maintenance program at the Sydney Opera House. For this purpose $13,254,000 has been provided in 1992-93. That will enable the Opera House to be maintained as our foremost cultural and tourist entity. Next year, as honourable members may know, will mark the twentieth anniversary of the opening of the Opera House in 1973. A major program of special events and commemorative celebrations is being planned. The overture to that was recently celebrated at the Opera House when some prominent members of the arts community gathered - approximately 300 people; and I, together with the chairman of the Trust, had the privilege of cutting the birthday cake celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the Opera House. As part of the capital works program of the Ministry for the Arts is an allocation of $3.48 million for the ongoing substructural repair work on the pylons of wharves 4 and 5 at Walsh Bay, the home of the Sydney Theatre Company, another one of our prominent cultural flagships. I am delighted that the Government is maintaining the wharves as a special and distinctive venue for the performing arts and that new uses for the remaining spaces are being planned by the ministry.
Capital funding of $528,000 is being made available for stage three of the Kingswood repository of the Archives Authority of New South Wales. The extensions at Kingswood will be constructed at a cost of $4.37 million, of which $3.85 million will be provided through borrowings and internal resources of the authority. Typical of the initiatives of the Government through the Ministry for the Arts is the refurbishment of the old naval gunnery building in Woolloomooloo as a centre for the visual arts. Recently I had the pleasure of attending the official opening by Peter Collins of the gunnery. The building opposite the old Finger Wharf provides a gallery, offices for organisation, and handsome space for studios. It is a magnificent addition to our cultural life and I advise members who have not yet visited the gunnery to do so as soon as possible. This building was made possible by a creative partnership between the Ministry for the Arts and Transfield Corporation, who contributed to the refurbishment costs. I congratulate the Minister on this significant initiative and I look forward to the development of arts studios on the upper floor.
I believe that the arts are undergoing a period of fruitful and productive change in this State. Our cultural institutions, be they the flagships of the Opera House, the museums, the State library, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, or the Historic Houses Trust, are all leaders in their fields and among the foremost institutions of their kind in the world. They bring great credit to New South Wales as guardians and interpreters of our cultural artistic heritage. I wish them well in their endeavours and I congratulate the Government and particularly the Minister for the Arts, who has become, as the longest serving arts Minister, a legendary figure - a folk hero - and I congratulate him on the initiatives of these institutions in the field of culture and the arts.
I should like to speak also about the Government's involvement in ethnic affairs, because through its program areas it is continuing its commitment to ethnic affairs and to people of non-English speaking backgrounds. In addition to continuing support for the Ethnic Affairs Commission and existing structural programs such as the ethnic affairs policy statement program - EAPS - the Government has identified specific expenditure for both individual projects and aspects of existing programs, to ensure that it retains the ability to meet the cost of this large and significant group. As I said at the commencement of my speech, a large number of specific activities and programs are carried out by all departments and agencies that cover ethnic affairs. Ethnic issues, which are designed to assist people of non-English speaking backgrounds, are set out in detail in the ethnic affairs budget paper by George Souris, the Minister for Ethnic Affairs, and I support that paper. However, I should mention that due to a late negative adjustment of $80,000 to the Ethnic Affairs Commission in the 1992-93 Budget Paper, which occurred after the printing of this paper, an adjustment was made by way of a reduction in multi-occupancy rental allocation of $134,000, an increase in the direct pay reimbursements for traineeships of $7,000, and an end of year budget transfer from Treasury of $61,000.
I should like to refer to some major activities mentioned in that paper. First, the Department of School Education has identified five subprograms with a total budget expenditure of $19.143 million, which has a direct impact on financial groups, namely multicultural education initiatives; ESL - the English second language ethnic provisions program; the ESL general support program; the Saturday school of community languages; and anti-racism education. These special programs include also internal staff training and recruitment. The New South Wales Technical and Further Education Commission has estimated that the 1992-93 budget expenditure of approximately $90 million has been allocated to some 14 subprograms designed to assist people from non-English speaking backgrounds. These subprograms include the provision of courses, staff training, and recruitment, and apply to some 100 colleges throughout New South Wales.
The Department of Industrial Relations, Employment, Training and Further Education budget for ethnic issues is $4.57 million. That department has adopted a generic goal across all operating units to ensure that all people of New South Wales, regardless of language or ethnic background, have equal access to departmental services which are culturally appropriate and non-discriminatory. The department is focusing on in-house training programs for staff and development of external training programs. The Department of Health budget expenditure for 1992-93 had not been finalised at the time of preparing the report. However, the department has identified expenditure for 1992-93 on ethnic health issues in the areas of central administrative programs and services, regional health services, area health services, the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children, and non-government organisations.
The Department of Housing announced certain strategies for 1992-93. They include: policies, programs and services that are culturally sensitive; a staff commitment to equal access; client needs to be met through the provision of appropriate language services; ethnic communities to be informed about housing-related programs and services; and staff to be trained in the use of interpreters and to provide culturally sensitive services. The budget estimate for these strategies is $0.507 million. It is pleasing to note the strategies identified by the New South Wales Police Service to meet its objectives in relation to servicing ethnic groups. They include: the appointment of police ethnic liaison officers; the appointment of civilian bilingual liaison officers; the appointment of a senior lecturer for ethnic-Aboriginal studies at the police academy; and the development of an ethnic affairs policy statement strategic plan. The budget estimate for those strategies is $0.535 million.
The Water Board has identified 10 subprograms which target ethnic groups. Those programs include: market and customer research; community consultation; training of staff; pricing and social welfare policy; advertising and recruitment; and training. The budget estimate for these programs is $0.628 million. WorkCover aims to provide a service for all potential users, irrespective of race, ethnicity, gender, age, geographic location or socioeconomic status. In 1992-93 WorkCover plans to incur expenditure on programs targeting ethnic groups in the provision of interpreting and translation services, internal training, recruitment and training, and advertising. The budget estimate for those programs is $0.291 million. The Department of Sport, Racing and Recreation has identified 12 statewide mainstream subprograms in which ethnic groups participate, including: local sports development; introductory opportunities; strategic planning and policy; Swimsafe; vocation learn to swim; coaches - Aussie sport; youth leaders - Aussie sport; vacation activity centres; leadership training; family camping; vacation camping; and outdoor education. The budget estimate for those programs is $0.833 million. Honourable members will note that in these areas the Government has moved in a compassionate and pragmatic fashion. I congratulate the Premier, and Treasurer, the Hon. John Fahey, on presenting the people of New South Wales with a successful and balanced Budget. I am sure it will provide the people of New South Wales with an effective compass with which to wade through the economic hazards of the next financial year. I support the Budget.
Debate adjourned on motion by the Hon. J. Kaldis.