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Tuesday, 26 March 1985
Page: 780

Senator BOLKUS —I refer the Minister for Education to the long-standing proposal to introduce modern Greek at Flinders University in South Australia. I ask: Is it a fact that Federal funding was both promised and allocated for this project and that the South Australian Government and the local Greek community are prepared to contribute to the establishment of a chair of modern Greek? Is it also a fact that the Commonwealth Tertiary Education Commission recommended funding for this project in its report of September 1984? Will the Minister now indicate why there is a delay in the inception of this much needed course?

Senator RYAN —It is the case that the Commonwealth has expressed support for the establishment of a chair of modern Greek at Flinders University and will, in due course, make funds available for that purpose. The project, in its early stages, is to be funded jointly by the Greek community and the State Government and later by Commonwealth support. I think they were the terms in which the election undertaking that initiated this project was made. The Commonwealth Government's commitment was made against the background of the significant community and State Government support which is now forthcoming. The Tertiary Education Commission addressed this matter in its Volume 2 advice but did not recommend Commonwealth funding for 1985. Pages 19 and 20 of that report state:

On the basis that the community and State Government financial support were forthcoming, no Commonwealth funds will be required in 1985. The University's Council has not provided the $100,000 for 1986 and the $150,000 for 1987 within the University's grants for those years as it considered the Government's broader intake objectives should have priority.

However, both the South Australian Government and the Greek community have now given undertakings to provide financial support in 1985 for the initial establishment of the chair. As I said, Commonwealth funds will not be available for 1985. The question of the level of Commonwealth support required for 1986 and beyond to maintain the chair will be addressed by the Commonwealth Tertiary Education Commission in its supplementary report for the triennium, which I expect to receive shortly.