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Thursday, 29 October 1970

Mr N H Bowen (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Education and Science) - I understand the idea behind this amendment, and I am not in disagreement with the general notion that there should be involvement of the community on the governing Council of this institution. But it will be appreciated that there is no restriction upon the appointment to the Council of members of the community. Of the members who formally are to be appointed by the Governor-General, seven have been appointed, and of these, six are in fact members of the Canberra community. Six of them are residents of Canberra. The seventh is the chairman of a college of advanced education. Of the seven only one is a departmental representative. I should perhaps mention the chairman. The others are just general members of the community; they are not connected with my Department. Then there is the opportunity for the Council itself to co-opt 4 people and it has to date co-opted 3. Two of those people are professional people from Sydney. The third person is an educator from Melbourne. Some reference was made during the second reading debate to these members of the Council. lt is not necessary to adopt this amendment to secure the appointment of members of the Canberra community to the Council. If this amendment were adopted it would mean that there would be an election to be prescribed by regulation and conducted presumably amongst the general body of electors in Canberra to select these 3 representatives. 1 am not prepared to accept this amendment. 1 am not convinced that it is necessary to go through the expense of an election in order to secure 3 persons who can adequately represent the Canberra community. However, as I say, there is already provision in a general way and the Council itself has this power to co-opt. This again, with a very heavy weighting of Canberra residents, on it would enable it, if it so desired, to use that power to secure able people from the Canberra community to add to the Council. I therefore oppose the amendment.

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