Page 2067 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 21 June 2005

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I note that, in answer to a question on notice that we asked during the estimates process to find out how the mix of affordable housing that is promised for Civic west would be delivered, the government simply drew our attention to the student accommodation planned by ANU. That can only raise our concerns regarding a level of real commitment this government has to deliver on its housing affordability promises. I am pleased to see that this committee has made a recommendation that student accommodation should not be counted when monitoring progress towards achieving five per cent affordable housing.

This is a unanimous report of the committee that is composed of two Labor backbenchers and a member of the opposition. How the government responds to its recommendations is a test not only of the government’s commitment to community organisations and affordable housing, but also of the effectiveness of the government’s backbench. Consequently, I look forward to the government’s response to this paper and hope to see it address the concerns of the community sector and social housing groups by accepting all the recommendations of the report relating to community organisations and housing affordability.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

University of Canberra Amendment Bill 2005

Ms Gallagher, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by clerk.

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Children, Youth and Family Support, Minister for Women and Minister for Industrial Relations) (12.04): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

This bill amends the University of Canberra Act 1989. The amendments embed the national government’s protocols agreed by all Australian ministers and chancellors of Australia’s universities in late 2003. The protocols are specified in the commonwealth’s Higher Education Support Act 2003. All Australian states and territories are working towards embedding the intent of the national governance protocols in their university legislation. The protocols represent good practice in corporate governance of the university governing bodies, most commonly called university councils. This approach ensures that the university council continues to work in the interests of the university and its students. There is a general trend nationally and internationally for corporate entities to embrace best practice in governance and this bill will ensure that our university benefits from a robust governance framework.

This bill is identical to the amendments that were first put forward as part of the government Statute Law Amendment Bill 2005. Appropriate agencies were consulted as part of the SLAB process earlier this year. Following the advice of the legislative

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