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Thursday, 23 August 1984
Page: 290

Senator BOSWELL(6.05) —I move:

That the Senate take note of the paper.

I wish to say a few words about this very excellent Tasmanian institution. Of course, the Australian Maritime College was founded for the maritime trade. As the maritime trade declined, because of the coastal trade decline, fishing courses were married to the courses being run at the Maritime College. The problem about this college, as it has been explained to me, is that the courses are very sophisticated. As one fisherman who has been through the college said: 'It was like going to university before primary school'. I certainly do not want to denigrate this excellent institution but I believe there is a need for another college so that fishermen can learn the basics. Let me put it this way: Before we teach fishermen how to operate computers I think we should teach them how to use calculators.

In Queensland I am very well known by the fishermen and by the industry. It is my understanding that the fishermen in Queensland have a very basic education and they do not understand the sophistication of this college.

Senator Grimes —That is what is wrong with the fishing industry.

Senator BOSWELL —The Minister for Social Security has just said that that is what is wrong with the fishing industry. Of course that is what is wrong with the fishing industry. I take up and accept the Minister's interjection. Fishermen are basic people. They do not have a degree such as that of the Minister.

Senator Grimes —They don't need one.

Senator BOSWELL —They do. The 'flying by the seat of your pants' attitude might have been all right in the old days but it is certainly not all right at the moment. Some fishermen in Queensland are in charge of boats costing up to $300, 000 yet they probably have only a fourth grade or fifth grade education. These are the people who need to be taught business principles and-

Senator Grimes —I am not arguing with you.

Senator BOSWELL —I am sorry, I thought that the Minister said that they did not need any education. Of course, with the increase in the 200-mile zone fishing is becoming a greater business. These fishermen need to be educated further.

I believe that the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs (Senator Ryan) has provided some $2m in the Budget to open a college in Bundaberg. The Queensland Government has provided a school right on the banks of the Burnett River. It is the intention of the fishing industry that this college be used to complement the Tasmanian Maritime College so the fishermen will get-

Senator Peter Rae —The Australian Maritime College.

Senator BOSWELL —I am sorry, the Australian Maritime College. The Bundaberg college will teach basic business principles, net manufacture, marine motor maintenance and radio maintenance and, the Tasmanian college will be used for greater or higher degrees. I believe that there is also a need for a fishing college associated with subtropical waters where different species of fish and crustaceans are caught from those that are caught in the temperate fishing waters of Tasmania. I think the Bundaberg college and the Australian Maritime College can work together and complement each other.