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Thursday, 20 September 1973
Page: 1317

Mr OLDMEADOW (HOLT, VICTORIA) - I ask the Minister for Education whether he is aware that the Victorian State Government has decided to set up a multi-campus institution to be known as the State College of Victoria to incorporate the existing teacher training institutions previously under the control of the Victorian Department of Education. Will the Commonwealth Government be accepting financial responsibility for the State College of Victoria? Was there consultation between the Victorian State Government and the Minister before the decision was made? Is there danger of duplication of resources in this approach? Would it have been a sounder decision for teacher training institutions to be affiliated either with the universities or with the Victorian Institute of Colleges?

Mr BEAZLEY (FREMANTLE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Education) - The Victorian Government passed the legislation setting up this system before I became Minister for Education so there were no negotiations between me and the Government of Victoria. The State Colleges (Victoria) Act was passed in 1972. Under the system an interim senate has been established to govern all the teachers colleges in Victoria independently of the Department of Education and an academic board has been established to make recommendations on standards of education, examinations and the awarding of degrees. When the Cohen Committee was set up by the McMahon Government to look at the whole question of teacher education it accepted this situation. The present Government has accepted the Cohen report. We are taking responsibility for all teachers colleges to this degree. The Commonwealth is to spend in 2i years $188m on teacher education. We will be financing the recurring costs and the capital costs of teacher education.

I believe that discussions have taken place over a period of time between the Victorian Government and the committee set up by the Australian Commission on Advanced Education. The honourable gentleman asked me for a personal opinion. In a situation where there is a multi-campus institution there can easily bi wasteful duplication but we are not assuming control of Victorian teacher education - merely financial responsibility for capital and recurring costs. I believe it is desirable for teacher training to. take place in universities and colleges of advanced education in order that trainee teachers may have association with people training for other professions. However, this is not something which the Commonwealth Government can impose on any State government. I believe that teacher education in Australia has to evolve over the coming years into something which is more effective than we have known in the past. That will be a matter for discussion between the Commonwealth and the States. The Commonwealth is not assuming a centralised power in this matter when assuming the obligation to finance the system. Constitutional responsibility still rests with the States.

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