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Monday, 11 August 2003
Page: 13278

Senator Carr asked the Minister representing the Minister for Education, Science and Training, upon notice, on 26 June 2003:

(1) When will the department's calculations on the proposed new funding arrangements be made available to universities.

(2) Can the department's modelling for each individual university be provided to the Senate.

(3) Has the Government received representations from the University of Western Sydney that it will be up to $31.5 million over 3 years worse off as a result of the Government's new funding formula.

(4) Can the Minister confirm that the Board of Trustees of the University of Western Sydney (UWS) advised that, `the cumulative effect over ... three years is that UWS will receive over $31 million less than it would have without the clawback. In as much as the clawback is permanent the cumulative loss will compound into the future to more than $50 million over five years ... If our calculations are correct the package is a profound disappointment and shock to UWS'.

Senator Alston (Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts) —The Minister for Education, Science and Training has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) The Department of Education, Science and Training's (DEST) preliminary estimated Commonwealth Grant Scheme (CGS) calculation for each institution was provided to institutions on 8 July 2003.

(2) A summary table of each institution's estimated position under the CGS compared to its present operating funding in 2003 prices is attached.

(3) The Government has received representations from the University of Western Sydney about its own modelling of its position under the new arrangements and its concerns.

(4) I cannot confirm the statement of the Board of Trustees of the University of Western Sydney. I understand from media reports that the University's modelling argues a cumulative loss of more than $50 million over five years. Assuming that the University meets the national governance protocols and workplace relations policy requirements, DEST's calculations indicate that the University will experience an initial reduction of $4m in 2005 but will improve its position in 2006 and 2007. A transitional fund will ensure that UWS is not financially disadvantaged in the transition to the CGS and will be fully compensated during the adjustment phase.