Page 1961 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 14 May 2013

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We have a number of wonderful tertiary institutions and it is up to us not to ignore them but to look to work with them wherever we can. I personally see the University of Canberra as Canberra’s university, and we have great potential to see it used and see it grow into an even better tertiary institution than it is at the moment. As I said earlier, I think that Professor Stephen Parker has done some wonderful things over the past few years. He inherited some very difficult budgetary circumstances and he appears to have turned much of that around.

That kind of leadership is needed. I think it is important that we have governments here in the ACT that partner with that and that we do not have an ad hoc arrangement when it comes to federal government funding. When we see that ad hoc approach to funding, when we see the mismanagement of the budget leading to the need for cuts, as we see, the tertiary sector does not do well and nor do many other sectors.

In conclusion, the Canberra Liberals will continue to look for ways to partner with our tertiary education sector, to promote our tertiary education sector and to ensure that it continues to be an important part of the ACT economy and our ACT community.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (4.05): Today is certainly a good day for this matter of public importance to be raised in the Assembly, as we anticipate the federal budget and its impacts on the ACT. I think we all know how vital the tertiary education sector is to our city and to the region, and I welcome the chance to talk about this and to hear the views of other members.

As the nation’s capital, we are home to many government and national institutions, but we have also become an educational hub which proudly represents our city with schools and universities of international repute. Canberra has become a knowledge and learning capital. We are a city with a long history as a place of academic learning, boasting a fantastic range of leaders in education such as the ANU, University of Canberra, University of New South Wales Defence Force Academy, and Australian Catholic University. We have a dynamic CIT, offering world-class hospitality courses, amongst others, and we are home to other great research centres for agencies such as CSIRO, the Mount Stromlo Observatory and the John Curtin medical research school, as well as a growing aeronautics and aerospace industry.

The ACT has ambitious carbon reduction targets; and this, combined with our research and educational institutions, means we are well placed to become a centre for excellence for the nation in tackling climate change. As we transition to a more environmentally sustainable future, we can offer international students an opportunity to be part of the cutting-edge innovations that will create new technologies and jobs in the growing green economy.

Due to our role in the capital region as well as our reputation across Australia and the world, our tertiary education sector caters for many visitors. Moving to Canberra, as we know many students do for a variety of reasons, offers them a chance to live locally in a city that understands global issues.

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