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Wednesday, 5 September 1984
Page: 473

Senator COATES —I ask the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs in that capacity, and also as Minister representing the Minister for Home Affairs and Environment, whether she is aware of the Tasmanian Government's proposal to build a residence for technical college students in the grounds of the Southern Teachers Centre in Hobart-a building and grounds which are on the register of the National Estate? Further, is she aware of the outcry from so many people against this proposal? As Federal Government approval of funds will be necessary , will she ensure that she exercises her responsibility under the Heritage Commission Act not to take avoidable action which would affect the building and its surrounds, since it is not essential that the proposed residential block be on this very attractive site?

Senator RYAN —The Technical and Further Education Council of the Commonwealth Tertiary Education Commission has been informed by the Tasmanian Government of its proposal to construct a student residence for Hobart Technical College. The Tasmanian Government has indicated that it will be seeking Commonwealth funds under the TAFE capital grants program for the building of the residence not earlier than 1986, though it is seeking design funds of $100,000 in 1985. On behalf of the Commonwealth, the TAFE Council assesses proposed projects to ensure that they are educationally sound, economically efficient and consistent with Commonwealth objectives for the development of TAFE. The Commonwealth has funded the construction of student residences in the past, including one in Burnie and one in Launceston, Tasmania, because they improve access for country students. Questions of environment and aesthetics are essentially matters for the State governments, which are responsible for the design and construction of TAFE colleges. The TAFE Council, which has been contacted by the Australian Heritage Commission, will take steps to ensure that any necessary consultation takes place. It is therefore suggested that in the first instance those making the representations take up the question of siting with the Tasmanian Government . Clearly, it is a matter in which the Commonwealth has a concern and we will monitor the situation.