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Thursday, 29 October 1970

Mr N H Bowen (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - One or two matters have been raised on which I wish to comment. The Government does not accept the proposed amendment, but I will deal with that secondly. The honourable member for Fremantle (Mr Beazley) spoke of the power to confer degrees. He suggested that this is evidence of a trend which he saw by which the Canberra College, for instance, would develop into a university of Canberra, a teachers' college and a technical institute. I suggest that with the advice of the Commonwealth Advisory Committee on Colleges of Advanced Education there is a quite separate role for them. This has been discussed before. I will not detain the House by entering into a debate on that subject.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Cope)Order!I think the proper time to discuss the amendments is during the Committee stages.

Mr N H Bowen (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am not discussing the amendments but dealing with a matter raised outside the amendments by the honourable member for Fremantle. I also want to deal very briefly with this question of the national accrediting body and to give the House some information about it. Several honourable members have referred to the Wiltshire Committee which recommended the establishment of a national accrediting body for awards given by these colleges. As has been mentioned, it presented its report last year. Following that report State and Commonwealth ministers for education decided to appoint a working party to work out the machinery for the establishment of this national body. This had not been done in the report. This working party presented its report, which was available at the Australian Educational Council meeting on 25th May, but there was some disagreement as to its implementation. Since then talks have been taking place as there is a difference of view among some of the States, partly owing to the diversity of their colleges and their past administration of them. It has not been resolved. It is because of the need in the meantime to provide for the situation at the Canberra college that this step is being taken. It would have had to be taken even if there were a national body. It only gives a power; it does not say what degrees will be awarded. It gives the power and capacity to enter into that field under certain circumstances.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

In Committee

Clauses 1 to 4 - by leave - taken together, and agreed to.

Clause 5.

Section 8 of the Principal Act is repealed and the following section inserted in its stead: - "8.- (1.) The Council shall consist of-

(a)   the Principal of the College;

(b)   the Vice-Chancellor and (subject to the restriction on his right to attend meetings contained in sub-section (5.) of this section) the Deputy Vice-Chancellor;

(c)   three members of the teaching staff of the College elected by that teaching staff;

(d)   two students of the College elected by the students of the College;

(e)   persons not exceeding eight in number appointed by the Governor-General;

(f)   persons not exceeding four in number appointed by the Council; and

(g)   if a person other than a person who is already a member of the Council is appointed, in accordance with section 13 of this Act, to be the Chairman of the Council, the person so appointed.

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