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Friday, 19 November 1965


Sir ROBERT MENZIES (KooyongMinister) . - I move -

That the Bill be now read a second time.

This Bill will authorise the first Commonwealth grants to the new colleges of advanced education. Grants totalling £2.4 million will be paid by the Commonwealth to various States for expenditure on capital works at specified colleges over the period 1st July 1965 to 31st December 1966. The Commonwealth grants will be subject to a matching contribution from the State Government concerned.

Honorable members will recall that in tabling the first two volumes of the report of the Committee on the Future of Tertiary Education in Australia on 24th March last, I announced that the Government had accepted the Committee's central recommendation for the development of advanced education in institutions which will become virtually new types of tertiary colleges outside the universities. What is envisaged is not merely improved arrangements for teaching technical subjects. An important part of the new concept is the encouragement of more liberal studies in these colleges and the establishment of courses which will provide greater breadth in education for all students who take tertiary level training outside the universities.

In this Bill we provide for a number of buildings which the Tertiary Education Inquiry Committee recommended could be started right away. The institutions on behalf of which the Commonwealth is prepared to make immediate matching capital grants, and the amount of the Commonwealth contribution in each case, are set out in the schedule to the Bill. With the concurrence of honorable members I incorporate the details in " Hansard ". They are -

 

Honorable members will note two variations from the list of institutions for which the Tertiary Inquiry Committee recommended immediate assistance. At the request of the Western Australian Government £61,500 is being provided by the Commonwealth for works at the School of Mines of Western Australia at Kalgoorlie, and the £500,000 recommended for the Western Australian Institute of Technology is being reduced by this amount. No provision has been made for Commonwealth grants to new colleges at Bathurst and Wagga. The New South Wales Government has told us that it has no proposals for these colleges at present. Should such proposals be made in the future the Commonwealth Government would be prepared to give them favourable consideration.

I point out to the House that the Bill empowers the Minister to extend beyond 31st December 1966 the period during which State contributions to a project may be matched from Commonwealth funds. This will be done only where the project has been committed to construction and substantial progress made before that date. We have done this in recognition of the difficulty the States may face in completing these large projects within a relatively short time. In fact, as was indicated in the Budget Papers, we expect that the programme of work will not call for the expenditure of more than £1 million during the present financial year of the Commonwealth's total commitment of £2.4 million.

The Commonwealth has been gratified to receive the wholehearted support of all of the States in this development of the new colleges of advanced education. All States, including Tasmania, are now preparing proposals for the continuing development of colleges of advanced education during the triennium from 1967 to 1969 and beyond that period. The Commonwealth has invited the States to put forward specific proposals under which the Commonwealth and the States will share the capital and recurrent costs of advanced education. We have appointed a highly qualified advisory committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. I. W. Wark to advise us on proposals which will come from the States as part of the committee's more general task of promoting the balanced development of non-university tertiary institutions in Australia. The following brief outline of prospective developments in advanced education in the States illustrates the timely action of the Commonwealth in promoting a joint CommonwealthState effort in this direction -

New South Wales is in process of redeveloping its diploma courses, and is beginning to construct for the New South Wales Institute of Technology at Sydney a complex of buildings on a site at present occupied by the Sydney Technical College at Ultimo.

Victoria has passed legislation recently to form the Victoria Institute of Colleges. The Interim Council of this Institute is currently examining the question of the affiliation within the framework of the Institute of major technological institutions in the State. There are plans for the immediate further development of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and Colleges at Ballarat, Geelong and Bendigo. The question of the siting of the new building at Bendigo is currently under discussion.

In Queensland major plans involve the development of the present Brisbane

Central Technical College to house the new Queensland Institute of Technology, together with branches being developed on new, and admirably selected, sites at Rockhampton and Toowoomba.

South Australia has plans well advanced for the development of the South Australian Institute of Technology on a new 200 acre site at Islington. Immediately, buildings are to be constructed on the existing Frome Road site in Adelaide and also at Whyalla.

In Western Australia some fine buildings have already been built for advanced education purposes on a 270 acre site at Collier Park and the new Western Australian Institute of Technology is, therefore, already established and partly housed.

Tasmania has begun plans for the early development of a College of Advanced Education in Hobart and these have already been discussed with Dr. Wark.

The College of Advanced Education is a new and challenging concept which will make possible a broadening of educational opportunities and achievements at the tertiary level. The Australian Government is confident that, in co-operation with the States and with the advice of Dr. Wark's Committee, these colleges will play a major part in meeting Australia's needs for educated and technologically trained people and in providing facilities suited to the selected vocations and capacities of individual students.


Mr Beazley - Will reports be presented to the House annually, as in the case of the Australian Universities Commission?


Sir ROBERT MENZIES - Reports of the Wark Committee?


Mr Beazley - Yes.


Sir ROBERT MENZIES - I would think so.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Beazley) adjourned.







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