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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 90

(Question No. 4910)


Mr MacKellar asked the Minister representing the Minister for Education, upon notice, on 18 November 1986:

(1) Does the Australian Maritime College annual report for 1985 show that income received from fees charged for specialist programs fell from $167,046 to $160,700 in 1985.

(2) What are the reasons for the downturn in income from fees in 1985.

(3) What is the nature of the specialist programs for which the College charges fees.

(4) Are there any operational activities of the College training vessel Wyuna which are classified as specialist programs and produce income from fees; if so, what are the details.

(5) What is the College's present policy in relation to the availability of specialist programs and their fees and is this policy presently being reviewed.


Mr Dawkins —The Minister for Education has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) Yes.

(2) The College offered short specialist courses during 1985, but due to the training requirements and economic conditions prevailing in the maritime industry, the demand for these courses decreased in 1985. There has, however, been a significant increase in demand during 1986. The income for 1986 is estimated at $300,000.

(3) There is a wide range of short specialist course programs for the maritime industries for which the College charges fees. These programs are generally offered in response to a perceived or expressed need from industry and include by way of example such courses as the following:

Elements of Ship Board Safety

Navigation and Automatic Radar Plotting Aid

Unmanned Machinery Spaces Courses on the College Engine Room Simulator

Shiphandling Simulator Command Courses

Advanced Fire Protection and Control

Radar Simulation

Courses for Certificates and Revalidation for Engineers, Masters and Mates

Petroleum Tanker Safety Courses

Chemical Tanker Safety Courses

Proficiency in Survival Craft

Human Relations and Management

The College Council approves a list of short specialist courses to be offered each semester. This information is promulgated for information of the maritime industries.

(4) Wyuna is generally used for the practical segments of courses for trainee officers and ratings rather than for short courses. Prior to the acquisition of the College's shiphandling simulator, a complete one-week specialist course on Bridge Team Work was conducted entirely on board Wyuna. There are currently no specialist programs entirely provided on board Wyuna.

(5) Section 7 of the Maritime College Act 1978 sets out the functions of the College. These are in part:

(a) to conduct an institution for the provision of such maritime and maritime related education and training as the Council, with the approval of the Minister, determines, or as the Minister requires, being principally tertiary education for persons who wish to become, or are, officers on merchant or fishing vessels or who wish to become, or are, otherwise engaged in connection with shipping or the fishing industry;

(b) to use the facilities and resources of the College to advance and develop knowledge and skills in the fields with which the College is concerned.

Section 9 provides that the College may, in pursuance of arrangements between the College and the Minister for Transport, conduct on behalf of the Commonwealth:

(a) short courses of maritime training; and

(b) Examinations and assessments for marine competency in accordance with the Navigation Act 1912.

Section 32 of the Act empowers the College to charge fees with the approval of the Minister. The College has sought and has received Ministerial approval to charge fees for short courses.

Fees are charged with the objective of recovering the costs of operating the courses but a full cost recovery position has not yet been attained in all areas.

The general policy of providing short specialist programs for the maritime industries is not under review, but the types of courses provided are reviewed each semester as previously indicated.