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Tuesday, 27 November 1973
Page: 2129


The PRESIDENT -Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted. (The speech read as follows)-

The purpose of the Bill now before the Senate is to provide for a full-time Deputy Chairman of the Commission on Advanced Education. The Commission was established in. 1971 with a fulltime Chairman and nine part-time members. The operations of the Commission have increased since 1971 both in volume and complexity. The number of colleges has increased from 48 in 1971 to 83 in 1973, including 39 former teachers colleges. Student enrolments in the colleges have increased from 45,000 in 1971 to 95,000 in 1973. This growth in the colleges of advanced education has substantially increased the demands made upon the Commission, for all institutions look to it for help and guidance with developmental problems.

A close liaison must be kept with the colleges to maintain the effective work at present being done by the Commission. It is essential in the interests of ensuring the proper development of institutions that regular personal contact be made with State co-ordinating authorities, members of college councils and college staff. Visits to institutions do much to facilitate the Commission's work and are necessary if the Commission is to provide objective advice to this Government on the development of advanced education.

Initiatives of this Government in the fields of health, education and welfare are making heavy demands on the Commission which is actively involved both in the formulation of policy concerning the education of professionals in the areas mentioned, and in the implementation of other decisions and initiatives supported by the Government in respect of the colleges of advanced education. As will recalled, new arrangements will apply to the funding of advanced education from 1 January 1974, and will provide not only for the assumption by the Australian Government of the existing financial commitment of States in respect of approved programs but also will include some innovation in the method of financing which will make allowance for cost rises during a triennium.

The Government recently reviewed the demands upon the Commission and has decided to appoint a Deputy Chairman as an additional full-time member. The Deputy Chairman will assist the Chairman in his program of discussions with State Government bodies and colleges and may co-ordinate a defined area of the Commission's activities. In so doing he will enable the Chairman to devote more time to other areas of policy in the field of advanced education. A fulltime Deputy Chairman was appointed to the Australian Universities Commission in 1971 for essentially similar reasons. Provision has been made in the Bill for the Deputy Chairman to chair meetings when necessary, and to act as Chairman, if appropriate, in the Chairman's absence. This will ensure the continuing flow of the work of the Commission at all times. As is the case with the term of appointment of the Chairman, it is envisaged that the Deputy Chairman will be appointed for a term not exceeding 7 years.

The opportunity has also been taken, at this time, to make other minor amendments to the

Act. The word 'Australian' is to be removed from the title of the Commission, in line with Government policy, and account has been taken of the inclusion of the remuneration and allowance of statutory officers in the Remuneration and Allowances Act 1973. 1 commend the Bill to the Senate.


Senator Rae - I simply wish to indicate to the Minister for the Media (Senator Douglas McClelland) that if he wishes to deal with this Bill right now, I think that the Opposition would have no objection. Otherwise, it can be dealt with tomorrow or whenever it comes on for debate in due course.


Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) -The Bills all deal with educational matters. I suggest that they be dealt with at the one time.

Debate (on motion by Senator Rae) adjourned.







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