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Thursday, 11 November 1976

Mr HODGMAN (Denison) -I am obliged to the honourable member for Kingsford-Smith (Mr Lionel Bowen) for permitting me to make some comments on a matter which is of particular concern to the electorate of Denison and to the people of Hobart. It relates specifically to the proposal to transfer the Tasmanian College of Advanced Education, which has been situated at the Mount Nelson campus for several years, to the Newnham campus in Launceston and, in fact, to close down what has been, I believe, a very worthy addition to tertiary education in southern Tasmania. It will be well known, I believe, by most honourable members who are interested in the field of education that the Karmel report dealt specifically with the field of tertiary education, which included the Tasmanian College of Advanced Education and the University of Tasmania.

In essence, the Karmel report recommended that the Mount Nelson campus of the TCAE be closed down and that a college of advanced education, which would be an autonomous body, be established in northern Tasmania. That report has been generally accepted in spirit but, from a practical point of view, I believe it presents very substantial problems. The State Government of Tasmania found difficulty in the implementation of the report and referred it to the Cosgrove Committee to advise the Government as to the practicality of the transfer of the TCAE. From the very day the report was released I made it quite clear publicly that I did not wish to see, and that I would do everything in my power to prevent, the transfer to northern Tasmania of the School of Art which was attached to the TCAE at Mount Nelson and which in fact has existed in Hobart since 1891.

Mr Goodluck - It is a very fine school.

Mr HODGMAN -I completely agree with the honourable member and I believe that it would be nothing short of a tragedy if the School of Art was transferred to northern Tasmania. I have said publicly in Hobart, and I feel that it is my duty to put it on record in this Parliament, that I can no longer remain silent on the question of the dismantling and abolition of the Tasmanian College of Advanced Education at Mount Nelson. I am opposed to the disbandment of the College of Advanced Education there and I hope that while it is a matter for the State Government, the State Parliament of Tasmania will give very serious consideration to deferring the implementation of the recommendations of the Karmel report, perhaps by way of a moratorium for at least 12 months, to enable all the implications to be carefully examined and assessed. I do not want to remain silent on this issue. Indeed, I believe I would be in breach of my duty as the member of Parliament representing the electorate of Denison if I remained silent and witnessed the dismantling of this College of Advanced Education. I believe that Tasmania needs 2 colleges of advanced education in conjunction with the other tertiary education facility available in Tasmania, namely, the University of Tasmania. I find it very hard to accept the proposition that because there is a College of Advanced Education in Hobart and a smaller college at Newnham campus, the Hobart College should be abolished and transferred to Launceston because there is a Universty in Hobart. I do not wish to extend the indulgence which the honourable member for Kingsford-Smith has allowed me in permitting me to intrude into the debate but I wish to say that not only should the School of Art not be transferred to Launceston but also that the School of Environmental Design and Planning must be kept in Hobart.

Mr Goodluck - It would be a scandal.

Mr HODGMAN -I am reminded by my colleague that it would be nothing short of scandalous if the facilities of the Department of Physical Education which were specially set up at Mount Nelson were to be transferred to northern Tasmania. Those facilities are the result of many years planning. They represent a multimillion dollar project. They are perhaps the most magnificent physical education facilities in the whole of the Commonwealth of Australia. It would be nothing short of a scandal if those facilities were put to some other less significant use and the department transferred to northern Tasmania. Finally, I refer to the question which has been recently drawn to my attention and to that of my colleagues, namely, that the facilities for engineering training in northern Tasmania will not provide young persons with the opportunity of qualifying to the same standard, as they have been able to qualify at Mount Nelson. A number of young people who wish to take these courses will no longer have that opportunity. They will be deprived of the opportunity of developing in the field of engineering. Having made those remarks, I emphasise that the decision on this matter is one for the Tasmanian Parliament. I commend publicly that State Liberal spokesman on Education, Mr Mather MHA, for the time and trouble he has taken on this matter. I appeal to the State Government not to take precipitate action, and I recommend publicly that there should be a moratorium on the implementation of the Karmel report for a period of 12 months in order that all the implications can be assessed and irreparable damage will not be caused to tertiary education in Tasmania.

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