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Thursday, 29 October 1970

Mr BEAZLEY (Fremantle) -I move:

In proposed section 8, sub-section (1.) before paragraph (a) insert the following paragraphs: "(aa) two senators elected by the Senate; (ab) two members of the House of Representatives elected by that House;".

I am sorry that the Minister for Education and Science (Mr N. H. Bowen) has not seen fit to accept this amendment. If there is anything that experience of tertiary education in institutions around Australia has shown it is the need for a community interest and a close community knowledge through its representatives. The Opposition proposes to ensure this in 2 ways, by representation of the Parliament and the Canberra community in the governing of these tertiary bodies. I think this is a very great advantage. These bodies are very much under attack. We had an example of the stupidity of such attacks during the Returned Services League conference in relation to what is really a city, the University of New South Wales which has some 15,000 students. Some student off the campus produced a publication called Tharunka', and solemn statements were made to the effect that something should be done about the university. I mean by that that this type of critical view shows the same misunderstanding as is expressed when in a country town a resident misbehaves and it is then suggested that the whole town is involved in what has been done. As an observation this kind of criticism is just about as intelligent. That is why I feel that community representation on the governing bodies of these tertiary educational institutes is quite important. In any event, I do not know why we have to differentiate between the Canberra College of Advanced Education and the Australian National University. The Minister has said that the Government does not accept that there should be no differentiation but I have been given no clear reason why the Government does not accept it. Why it is regarded as undesirable that this Government have an interest in the Canberra College of Advanced Education. I do not know. I presume the Canberra community representation proposal will also he rejected by the Government. I would like to know why.

Mr Bryant - Because we thought of it.

Mr BEAZLEY - Well, that may be true. 1 do. not know that the Bill will be rejected in the Senate in which case we may be discussing this matter again when the Bill comes back to us. It seems to me there is an analogy between the Council of the Australian National University and this body. I think there is no doubt that the Australian National University has gained as a result of Parliamentary representation upon the Council. Certainly that is the impression I have had over all the years I have been on it, and I have been on it since 1949. 1 believe the College of Advanced Education would gain from the representation of this Parliament on it. So I move the amendment which has been circulated and which provides for the representation of 2 senators and 2 members of the House of Representatives.

Mr Bryant - I second the amendment and reserve my right to speak.

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