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Thursday, 21 May 1970

Mr N H Bowen (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - in reply - I have listened with interest to the speeches of honourable members on this Bill. I think that the Bill does show 2 things. Firstly it shows the interest and support of the Government for halls of residence at the universities. The Government regards these institutions as valuable in a number of ways. Of course, they provide a place of residence for those who, by reason of distance otherwise would find it difficult to attend a university. But more than that, as some honourable members have been pointing out, they provide a more rounded education at the university for those students who are able to attend them. There is the opportunity for close exchange with fellow students and there is the opportunity for guidance by tutors. We regard them as a valuable means of assisting in education at the universities.

The second point is that the two halls of residence mentioned in this Bill - the Roberts Hall at Monash University and the womens' hall of residence at the university of Tasmania - are simply the residue of halls for which we provided massive support during the triennium of 1966 to 1969. It so happened that by reason of delays in planning, as has been mentioned, these halls of residence were not able to get their entitlement to these matching grants because the matching expenditure had not taken place before 31st December. The fact that this Parliament is now asked to approve these payments, although in fact entitlement to them was not reached because expenditure could not be made before 31st December, shows, I think, a readiness to cut the red tape. I would expect the House not to hold up the expectations which have been built up by the previous Bill, but not realised for these 2 halls of residence, by voting in favour of this Bill.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

Message from the Governor-General recommending appropriation announced.

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