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Tuesday, 8 November 1983
Page: 2366

Ms FATIN —I direct my question to the Minister representing the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs. Has the Minister seen the article in today's Australian which outlines sweeping changes in nursing education in New South Wales? Is it a fact that in that State student nurses will be replaced by qualified nurses in public hospitals and that as from 1985 nurses will be educated in tertiary institutions and not in hospitals? In light of the federal inquiry into nursing education carried out by Dr Sidney Sax in 1978, is the Federal Government supportive of this innovative change?

Mr DAWKINS —I have seen the article to which the honourable member for Canning referred, following her drawing it to my attention. The report indicates that the New South Wales Government intends to move towards concentrating nursing education in colleges of advanced education rather than in hospitals. This is a matter which the Government has under study. Indeed, the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs is awaiting a report from the Commonwealth Tertiary Education Commission in relation to the matter because in respect of the next triennium starting in 1985 decisions will have to be made in respect of which places in which CAEs would be funded as a result of such a policy. There are, of course, other implications for the Commonwealth and, indeed, for students because tertiary education assistance scheme allowances are available for students in CAEs and universities only if those students requesting or applying for them are engaged in courses funded by the Commonwealth. So there are important issues involving both the State Government, in terms of the provision of trained staff for hospitals, and the Commonwealth. I know that the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs has this matter under study. I know that she is sympathetic to the notion and I am sure that she will be making announcements about it as soon as she has the report from CTEC.