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Wednesday, 16 August 1972
Page: 145

Senator LITTLE (VICTORIA) asked the Minister representing the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice:

(1)   Has the Minister's attention been drawn to a press release by the Press Officer of La Trobe University, Mr Robert Seagrave, in which it is stated that most campus flats are occupied by unmarried couples and that it is believed that a similar situation will arise in relation to the $3m housing project which will be commenced next April.

(2)   Can the Minister ascertain whether the money provided for this housing project will be loaned from University funds to a non-profit company managed by representatives of various University authorities and students; if so, what terms of repayment are usual for such a loan, or are the buildings to be retained by the University and only the current expenses raised by the company.

(3)   Does the Federal Government approve of portion of the Commonwealth grant to the State of Victoria for education being used to provide housing for the purposes outlined by Mr Seagrave.

Senator WRIGHT The Minister for Education and Science has providedthe following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1)   From information provided by La Trobe University, I understand that the' Information Officer did not issue a press release but, in answer to a telephone inquiry by a Melbourne newspaper, expressed some personal views about the campus flats and indicated that his views were not for publication. Despite this, an article on the subject appeared on the following day in the newspaper concerned and gave an inaccurate account of the personal views which Mr Seagrave had expressed on the telephone.

(2)   La Trobe University Housing Limited is an independent non-profit making company incorporated under the Victorian Companies Act to operate and manage all non-collegiate accommodation for university staff and students situated on and off the university campus. The sum of $3m to finance the new housing project referred to in the newspaper article will be obtained by loans from public lending institutions and not from university funds, and the Company will meet the full costs of servicing the loans and maintaining the residences.

(3)   No funds provided by either the Commonwealth or State have been used for the new housing project or for the construction of the campus flats referred to in Part (1) of the honourable senator's question.

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