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Thursday, 31 May 1973
Page: 2942

Mr GORTON (Higgins) - by leave- I am more than glad that this Bill has been introduced. It does bring to fruition and conclusion a very admirable initiative taken by the Government before last. For myself, I agree with the lines on which it is to be established and the tasks which it is to carry out. The 5- acre site which is to be bought from the Macquarie University will be adequate for the school. But I would suggest to the Government that the establishment of the school in this place and on this site gives an opportunity for the acquisition of a greater area and if it were acquired it would be possible at some time in the future to position on that area other cultural schools such as the National Institute of Dramatic Art or a ballet development school, or organisations of that kind which, being in juxtaposition in the one area could, as it were, cross-fertilise each other in the process. This was a matter once considered by the Interim Committee.

I point out that if this were done there would certainly be an initial expense - that is, if a larger area were bought now - but that would either be repaid by the establishment of these other schools in the same area or, if that establishment did not come about, the Commonwealth Government could not but make a profit by disposing of the area after having held it for a while. I know that this is not directly connected with the Bill but what I have suggested does not detract in any way from the proposition. I ask the Government to have a further look at this matter to see whether a cultural complex of this kind could not be established and this proposal followed to the advantage of all of the performing arts in Australia. I move:

That the debate be now adjourned.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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