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Thursday, 29 October 1970

Mr BRYANT (Wills) - First of all, I think that the analogy of the Canberra College of Advanced Education and the Australian National University is fair enough. The Australian National University is part of Canberra, part of the national capital, established for Australia. The Canberra College of Advanced Education is a part of Canberra and it is part of Australia. No matter what we say or do. it is going to become, in a certain measure, a national institution. One cannot just look at the Australian scene and divorce Canberra from it as a piece of the community on the one hand and as the national . capital on the other. This Parliament is responsible for Canberra. Do we not have the ACT Committee? Do we not keep an eye on Canberra? Is Canberra not tha responsibility of a Minister of this Parliament? Canberra is our responsibility, it exists for the Parliament.

Canberra has been developed by Parliament. Therefore we have a different relationship to Canberra from, the ones we have to Launceston, Hobart or Melbourne. 1 expect various honourable members to be invited to join various college councils and university councils around Australia, as some of them do in their own right. A former honourable member for New England was either the Chancellor of the New England University or played a part in the formation of that University. In a very much more humble way, I am the chairman of a high school advisory council in my electorate. There are various functions that honourable members can perform.

The Canberra College of Advanced Education is our baby, we might say. Therefore I think that this Parliament ought to be involved with it. On the other hand, 1 suppose I must refer to this delicate, parliamentary, ministerial question of protocol. It is true that the Opposition did not consult the Minister for Education and Science (Mr N. H. Bowen) beforehand. Perhaps it is an error in the way this place works. But the Minister did not consult us either. I have been here long enough to know- that this is a fundamental difficulty and therefore one is inclined to accept it. But I wish that we could reach the stage where ideas could flow across the floor of the House and sometimes be accepted. This again is an error of structure. For instance, if standing committees had been appointed to inquire into the business on the notice paper this matter might well have come before the House in a different way. The consensus between the honourable member for Denison (Dr Solomon) and members of the Opposition might have reached the point where he advanced right up to the gate of true justice. So we put forward this serious proposal. Both the honourable member for Fremantle (Mr Beazley) and I represent this Parliament on a statutory authority. I believe that we are gainfully employed there and that we have learnt something from it. I am certain that it is a useful function for a parliamentarian to perform. So, I support the amendment that has been put before the House.

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