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Tuesday, 4 September 1984
Page: 395


Senator CROWLEY —My question is directed to the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs. I refer to the splendid announcement by the Government on 24 August this year of decisions about basic nurse education and the Government's in principle support for the full transfer of nurse education to colleges of advanced education. Will the Minister spell out the steps involved in the transfer? What is the substance of the proposed negotiations with the States and Territories and what are the numbers of nurse places involved at each stage of the transfer before full transfer by 1993?


Senator RYAN —Some of the detailed requests in Senator Crowley's question will be worked out in negotiations between the Commonwealth and State governments. As announced on 24 August, the Commonwealth Government has given its in principle support to the transfer of nurse education from hospital programs to CAEs. Subject to negotiations with the States and Territories on satisfactory transition and cost-sharing arrangements, the last intake into hospital-based courses will occur in 1990. Thus full transfer will be achieved by 1993. I expect that the Commonwealth will approach the States next week, or shortly after, outlining its position so that the negotiations can commence as soon as possible.

The Commonwealth will co-operate with the States to assist in achieving an orderly, planned transfer process designed to avoid labour shortages during the transition period. The Commonwealth will negotiate cost-sharing arrangements with the States. The Commonwealth, of course, will be responding to State plans and requests and will not be seeking to impose transfers in any areas. As far as the payment of the tertiary education assistance scheme is concerned, it is expected that TEAS will be available to nurse education students in CAEs on the same basis as it is available to other tertiary students.