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Tuesday, 9 October 1973
Page: 1745

Mr LYNCH (Flinders) (Deputy Leader of of the Opposition) - All three of these Bills, which were introduced by the Treasurer (Mr Crean) on 23 August, relate to the establishment of the Darwin Community College. The college, which was conceived and planned by the previous Liberal-Country Party Government, is unique in Australia inasmuch as it is designed to provide for the Darwin community's total post secondary educational and leisure requirements. It will almost certainly be the forerunner of similar colleges in other parts of Australia where the population is not sufficient to warrant the diversity of post secondary institutions normally found in a metropolitan area but is large enough to justify the development of a community college along the lines of that which is nearing completion in Darwin.

My colleague, the honourable member for the Northern Territory (Mr Calder), has been involved in a very personal way with the development of the college from the outset. In fact, it was the honourable member for the Northern Territory who, in a most outstanding example of bipartisanship, nominated Darwin lawyer Mr R. C. Ward to the initial planning committee of the college. Mr Ward heads the Australian Labor Party in the Northern Territory Legislative Council and stood against the honourable member for the Northern Territory in 1966. Despite their political differences the honourable member recognised that Mr Ward's capacity and worth warranted appointment to the committee, and his recommendation to the then Minister for Education and Science, the honourable member for Wannon (Mr Malcolm Fraser), was accepted. The contribution made by Mr Ward is a tribute to Mr Ward's ability and the judgment of the honourable member for the Northern Territory. In the same sense of bipartisanship, I am certain members opposite would want to join members of the Opposition parties in placing on the record again our recognition of the outstanding contribution the member for the Northern Territory has made, and continues to make, to the development of the Territory in all its facets.

The Darwin Community College was established by an ordinance passed by the Northern Territory Legislative Council and which received assent on 19 July this year. However, as the Treasurer pointed out in his second reading speech, there are certain provisions that cannot be encompassed within the ambit of a Territory ordinance and it is therefore necessary to enact them in complementary legislation of the national Parliament. The three measures before the House relate to financial provisions for the college and for air accident liability and superannuation for the staff.

The Territory Authorities (Financial Provisions) Bill includes certain financial provisions which normally apply to statutory authorities established by an enactment of the Commonwealth Parliament. These relate to the payment to a statutory authority incorporated by a law of a Territory of moneys appropriated by the Parliament for the purposes of that authority. The Bill also removes the need for further specific legislation by the Commonwealth Parliament in relation to other authorities that may be similarly established in future. The Air Accidents (Australian Government Liability) Bill amends the principal Act to provide that any body corporate incorporated for a public purpose by a law of a

Territory may, where appropriate, be declared by regulations to be a body corporate to which the Act applies. The Superannuation Bill (No. 3) provides for the application of the Superannuation Act to the principal and staff of the Darwin Community College. The amendment will operate with retrospective effect from 19 June 1973 to extend superannuation cover from the date the college legally came into existence.

In supporting all 3 measures on behalf of the Opposition, I point out some of the features of this college which set it apart from other post-secondary institutions in Australia. The most fundamental is the manner in which it will cater for the Darwin community's total needs. These were determined by conducting surveys in the Darwin area, and seeking information from the local populace as to which specific courses they would be prepared to support. The result is a diversity unmatched by any other Australian post-secondary college. It includes a comprehensive range of leisure activities, courses leading to matriculation, a wide variety of apprentice training, technology at the tertiary level and even a diploma course in commerce. The college also will offer short courses in management programs. A great deal of preparatory work is currently going into the structure of the total program, to ensure that courses are held during that part of the day or evening most suitable to the greatest number of Darwin people.

The college is situated on a most desirable 40 acre campus at Casuarina in the vicinity of the foreshore. Part of the college will face on to the lake formed by the Rapid Creek development which is currently under way. The campus is about 8 miles from the centre of the city of Darwin in the heart of a developing suburban region in the type of area from which it is likely to draw the bulk of its enrolment. Built at a cost of approximately $4.5m, the college will open with 6 large trade workshops, an administration block, a library and a cafeteria. Student residences on the site will be of sufficient size to accommodate some 80 students in single rooms, although the design' is sufficiently flexible to permit the adaption of some rooms to suit married couples should there be a demand for such accommodation. Provision was made in the planning for the college, which began in 1969, for the provision of a number of different kinds of playing fields, although sport will be an extra-curricula activity.

When the Darwin Community College begins teaching in March next year it will incorporate the Darwin Adult Education Centre which has, for the past 14 years, provided Darwin's only post-secondary educational facilities. Over the years, the centre has run some apprenticeship training courses, but its major concentration has been on recreational and hobby classes, together with assistance to people undertaking degree courses by correspondence, mainly with the University of Queensland. At the peak of its activity, the centre was meeting the requirements of approximately 8,000 students enrolled for part-time tuition. As I indicated, these courses will be absorbed by the new community college from the beginning of the 1974 academic year. But the emphasis at the college will shift much more heavily to technical and advanced education. The community college is currently recruiting the staff it requires and anticipates opening with a teaching and administrative staff complement totalling approximately 100. The community college concept is one which is ideally suited to many locations outside Australia's major population concentrations. It is a concept pioneered successfully at Darwin by the Liberal-Country Party Administration and now continued by the present Government. These measures deserve the support of the House. The Opposition parties will vote in support of the Bill now before the House.

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