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Wednesday, 22 August 1984
Page: 160


Senator PETER RAE(5.24) —I move:

That the Senate take note of the paper.

I am one of two senators who are members of the Council of the Australian National University and I take this opportunity to refer to a number of the matters referred to in the Australian National University 1983 report and to commend it as interesting reading to honourable senators and others in the community who are interested in the very wide variety of work which is being undertaken particularly in what is one of the world's leading research institutions. The Australian National University is a university of which I believe we can be extremely proud. The research function, which is one of its major functions-far more so than is the case with most universities-is so broad that I think a lot of us tend not to hear very much about it and not to realise that we have in our midst one of the leading institutions in the world. It has everything from research into cancer to the finding of possible links between risk factors and heart disease, which is a completely new discovery made by a team at the John Curtin School of Medical Research. I will not go into the detail of what it has been able to do in relation to that link. However, it is of considerable importance. Work is being done in relation to the extremely exciting discoveries at Lake George, not very far from Canberra, which prove the history of the planet going back for millions of years in a very way which has not been able to be done anywhere else in the world. The finding that the small magellanic cloud is not one galaxy but two is another illustration of the startling variety of research work that is going on at the University. I do not want to itemise each and every one of the University's achievements. I merely commend to people a reading of this report so that they can understand a little more of the sort of work the University is performing, of which we can be proud- ranging from the development of Synroc, a major breakthrough in nuclear waste disposal techniques, through to discoveries to do with the stars, to do with medicine, to do with almost every aspect of life.

A huge grant has just been received for further work in relation to influenza research, a field in which, again, people at the University are regarded as world leaders. A solar plant has been developed and the University, in conjunction with the New South Wales Electricity Authority, now has an experimental station in full operation, playing an important part in the development of solar energy. We should be proud of the variety and eminence of the work which is being done by a large number of the people at the Australian National University and the standing which that University is steadily achieving throughout the whole of the academic and scientific world.