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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 5097 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

council members, the number I have appointed or the number that are still there. I know two new very significant members of the Canberra community took up positions with the University of Canberra Council sometime in the last month, and I am sure that they are a very welcome addition to the Council of the University of Canberra. I have asked the department, I think in the last week or so, to pursue a further appointment. But, as to numbers, I honestly haven't got a clue.

MRS BURKE: Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. Given that the Treasurer announced yesterday that, "This government has now got a genuine dialogue and relationship going with the educational institutions, not just cocktail parties, but we are generally working with them, we are on the same wavelength", can the Chief Minister advise us of the reasons why-I will give you the numbers-some 12 months after certain council members ended their term, only six out of a possible 10 members to be elected by you, to my understanding, have been so appointed? Is this your example of leading from the front perhaps, or, to quote your Treasurer yesterday, "We're doing the real stuff. We're doing the real thing"?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Mrs Burke for giving me the detail of the numbers. Six of the 10 positions appointable by the ACT government have now been appointed. And, as I indicated, I asked the department just in the last two weeks to process a further appointment. In relation to the others, there is a response by all universities throughout Australia, including the University of Canberra and the Australian National University, to the so-called federal reforms. I think, Mr Speaker, you would be aware, and I am sure members of the Assembly are aware-that is, other than members of the Liberal Party, who are not aware-

Mrs Dunne: It's Brendan Nelson's fault. Let's blame the Commonwealth!

MR STANHOPE: No, no, no. Just wait. As a result of the Commonwealth blackmail reforms to tertiary education, you would recall-if you actually followed this debate at all, and if you were not as lazy, incompetent and inept as you are-and you would be aware that the federal Liberal government tied some of its reform measures to tertiary education to reform of administrative arrangement and structures within universities and indeed reform, or a cutting, of the numbers of members of councils on all universities around Australia. It was one of the principles. It is a pity you do not know this, Mrs Burke. I do not know what you did when you were out there but it is obvious-

Mrs Burke: Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. Could the minister please answer the question-why has he not appointed people that should have been appointed?

MR SPEAKER: I do not think there is a point of order. The Chief Minister is dealing with the issues around the council.

MR STANHOPE: And indeed it goes to the heart of the issue of vacancies at the University of Canberra and the issue of the council positions at the Australian National University. I have had discussions with both the Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University and the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canberra, and indeed the Chancellor-

Mrs Burke: But you don't know how many are on the council. Interesting.

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