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366

FOR PRESS EMBARGOED 1430 HRS-MAY 24.,.

The Minister for the interior,Mr Peter Nixon, today

suggested that every Australian child should visit Canberra

during their secondary school years.

He said:"This excellent arrangement already applies

in the United States where every chile visits Washington,the

national capital.

Mr Nixon was opening the Canberra Educational Tours

Accommodation Centre at Nar=rabundah..a modern hostel for 68

students and four teachers on 12 acres about two miles from

Parliament House.

He said it was important that children see for

themselves how Parliament operated because they--as the adults

of tomorrow--would be electing their own Parliaments.

'?And it is right and proper that they should be

given the opportunity to see Australia's largest inland city.

a perfect example of decentralisation in practice'?, he said.

Canberra's importance as a centre of education,

research and culture was growing steadily.And education would

continue to be a "growth" industry.

At present about 25% of Canberra's population

attended school. .and by 1980 there would be 6n Government

primary schools,20 secondary schools and nearly 20,000 pupils

attending private schools.

Mr Nixon said the value of the new hostel was

considerable when balanced against the overall accommodation

picture. Estimates of the annual tourist flow into Canberra

ranged from half a million to upwards of 750,000.

2.

"But if current estimates of 600,000 a year are

anywhere near correct,it would not be unrealistic to

suggest that by 1980 a million tourists will come to

Canberra each year 9T,he said.

And they will spend $10 million a year, as suming

they stay for an average of only one night."

Canberra had more than doubled its population over

the past eight years to more than 100,000 and was certain

to grow steadily to 250,000 and beyond.

By 1980, he said, Canberr a would need a further

5000 hotel/motel and guest house beds and a wide range of

additional casual meals, entertain) ent and recreational

facilities.

.....000.,... 24/5/68.