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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 12 Hansard (18 November) . . Page.. 4196 ..

MR SPEAKER: The standing order to which Mrs Dunne refers invites people to ask questions to elicit information, but not to generate a debate or anticipate debate on the question.

Mr Wood: It was much debated in the question, which went on for about three minutes.

MR SPEAKER: I will allow the question, Mr Wood.

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, I would have to check the Hansard to see exactly what I said and then I could answer the question for Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Minister, in your negotiations with the lessees, will you make compensation to them on just terms in accordance with conditions set out in their current leases, and as swiftly as possible given the inordinate delays to date.

Mr Wood: That is debating the issue, Mr Speaker.

MRS DUNNE: No, it is not debating the issue. The debate is about amendment of a disallowable instrument.

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, the government is in negotiation with those lessees. I do not want to pre-empt the outcome of those discussions at this time.

Student accommodation

MS DUNDAS: Mr Speaker, my question, through you, is to the Chief Minister. The discussion paper Building Canberra's Economy highlighted the lack of student accommodation as a major constraint to growth in the tertiary sector. As a recent survey undertaken at the ANU has revealed that 60 per cent of postgraduate students spend more than 30 per cent of their income on accommodation and recent estimates show that up to 450 students will struggle to find appropriate and affordable accommodation next semester, will your government be working to ensure that there are adequate numbers of appropriate and affordable accommodation for students in the ACT?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms Dundas for the question. Certainly, I think we are all aware that there is some very significant pressure in Canberra at the moment in relation to availability of student accommodation. It is an issue certainly that the government is very aware of and is working with the sector, particularly the universities, to seek to address. We are more than happy to facilitate our responses to the shortages that we find exist in relation to student accommodation. Indeed, I am aware that as recently as today the ACT Council of Education Export met to look at the very issue of how to ensure the future and appropriate development of Canberra as a student destination.

It is certainly a fact, if one looks at the statistics over the last few years, that the number of foreign students in particular seeking to attend the Australian National University, the University of Canberra and the CIT has grown exponentially. We are now becoming an education centre of first choice of a number of nations, particularly in Asia, as a result of

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