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Wednesday, 2 November 1983
Page: 2232


Mr SIMMONS(6.00) —Prior to the debate being interrupted yesterday I was expressing my delight, and I hope the delight of most honourable members, particularly those who are interested in the question of rural education, on the decision of the Commonwealth Tertiary Education Commission to grant corporate advanced education status to the Orange Agricultural College. I made the point that following assurances that co-operate arrangements would be established between the Orange Agricultural College and the Mitchell College of Advanced Education in Bathurst, the Commonwealth Tertiary Education Commission would recommend to the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs (Senator Ryan) that separate funds be provided for the college in 1984. I understand that such funds will be provided in the States grants legislation that will be coming before this House shortly.

This decision ends years of indecision as far as the College's future is concerned. I take this opportunity of commending both the Commonwealth Tertiary Education Commission and the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs for their acceptance of what I believe is educational reality as far as the Orange Agricultural College is concerned. I am sure that the new governing council which will replace the present board of management from 1 January 1984 will ensure that the college's reputation for excellence in farm management courses and other courses that have been demanded from time to time over the last 10 years by the rural industry will continue into the future. The decision is good news for the Orange Agricultural College and, as I have said, it does end years of indecision about the institution's future. The college has a well-deserved reputation for excellence in rural-based courses throughout Australia and this decision allows the college to continue unimpeded its fine record of achievement .