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Tuesday, 3 December 1974
Page: 3067

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) (9.24)- I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

I seek leave to have my second reading speech incorporated in Hansard.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Marriott)- Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted. (The document read as follows)-

The major purposes of this Bill are to provide a program of financial assistance for seven nonGovernment Teachers Colleges for 1974 and 1975, and to provide for variations in both capital and recurrent costs for all colleges of advanced education which were not allowed for when the programs for the 1973-75 triennium were adopted.

In 1973 the Government amended the States Grants (Advanced Education) Act to give effect to the decision that former State Government teachers colleges as they moved toward autonomy would be funded by the Australian Government as colleger, of advanced education. Consistent with the policy that these teachers colleges should be so funded the Commission on Advanced Education was asked to report on the assistance to be provided for approved nongovernment teachers colleges. The Commission's report was tabled on 17 July 1974. The recommendations have been accepted by the Government and this Bill gives legislative effect to this decision which involves a commitment of up to $6,543,820 in the years 1974 and 1975. This undertaking of the Prime Minister has been met this year with the extension of student allowances and recurrent funds in the nongovernment teacher education aree..

In accordance with the Government's decision of 23 August, 1974, the Bill also provides funds for recurrent expenditure of up to $230,000 for the establishment of recreation leadership courses at colleges of advanced education.

The Bill also seeks the transfer of $ 1 m of capital funds from section 10 to section 9 of the principal Act. This allows fo, additional funds to be provided for student residences and affiliated colleges in country areas, and better reflects the demand made for funds under these sections. It is a growing concern of the Government to adapt tertiary education and technical and further education to the needs of country people and to do this the cost of residential accommodation must increasingly be met. This is a first step.

The Government intends to propose amendments to the principal Act during each Budget session to take account of variations in costs. The indexes used by the Universities Commission will also be used by the Commission on advanced Education to calculate cost variations for the college system.

Honourable senators will recall that this Government has provided assistance for courses in dental therapy at the Western Australian Institute of Technology, social work at the Tasmanian College of Advanced Education, social work and physical education at the Preston Institute of Technology and physical education at the Footscray Institute of Technology in Victoria. Grants have also been provided for courses in special education and for the preparation of preschool teachers. The Bill provides for variations in these specified grants to allow for increases in costs. Additional grants to cover increases in running costs are also provided for student residences and affiliated colleges.

In accordance with established government policy, following the national wage case decision of May 1974 adjustments have been made to salaries payable to academic staff at colleges of advanced education. Amounts to cover these increases have been provided in this Bill.

This amendment provides an additional $47m in the 1973-75 triennium for colleges of advanced education and non-government teachers colleges. I commend the Bill to the Senate.

Debate (on motion by Senator Young) adjourned.

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