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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1997 Week 2 Hansard (26 February) . . Page.. 483..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

The board has responded to this request, Mr Speaker, by developing strategies to boost student numbers, improve marketability, broaden programs and services and establish links with Australian universities.

As a means of improving student numbers, the hotel school's degree will be made more competitive, with a revised fee structure beginning this year. A renewed approach to marketing will see several initiatives investigated, including capitalising on the current Australian demand for hospitality qualifications, negotiating articulation arrangements with other tertiary institutions and investigating new overseas markets, including Thailand and China. Mr Speaker, in a bid to enhance the school's academic standing, several avenues of affiliation with Australian universities are being investigated. Links with an established institution should further improve the recognition of an AIHS degree, particularly by Australian students.

Within the context of considering all the hotel school's debts, the Government is reviewing affiliation arrangements between the school and Cornell University. Fees payable to Cornell have been underestimated, and negotiations with the university are under way regarding outstanding fees. As part of the board's business plan, unit costs and overheads have been closely examined. This involves separating the hotel, student accommodation and school finances in line with the Auditor-General's findings. Accurate cost data will lead to the elimination of inefficiencies and lay a firm base for future financial decisions that are supported by objective data analysis.

Mr Speaker, the hotel school legislation took effect on 1 January this year, and it provides the basis for a new and strategic approach in managing a hotel school. I commend to the Assembly the Government's response to the Public Accounts Committee recommendation on the Australian International Hotel School.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Further Report on the Acton-Kingston Land Swap - Government Response

MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister): I ask for leave of the Assembly to make a ministerial statement on the Government's response to the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment Report No. 23 on the Acton-Kingston land swap.

Leave granted.

MRS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, since I last spoke to the Legislative Assembly about the Acton-Kingston land swap in December 1996, the same day that the Planning and Environment Committee tabled its further report, things have certainly moved pretty quickly. Indeed, it was only the day after, on 13 December, that the Prime Minister announced that the National Museum would be located on the Acton Peninsula. After decades of uncertainty, we finally have a commitment from the Commonwealth Government to the construction of the museum, and we will be holding the Commonwealth to this commitment.

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