Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 4 June 2015) . . Page.. 2055 ..
There also may be value in looking to any review of this bill’s impact for other in-perpetuity leases that exist in Canberra. The two main in-perpetuity leases are, of course, the ANU and the University of Canberra, and they are addressed in this bill. But there are around 30 or so other in-perpetuity leases across the city. In iterations of this bill there has been a clear decision not to include those other leases at this point in the bill. I think that is a positive thing. This is about the University of Canberra, and to have brought those other ones in would have opened up an issue that would have made this bill too broad. I welcome the fact that those other in-perpetuity leases are not covered by this legislation.
In closing, the ACT Greens will support this bill today and look forward to ongoing conversations, public consultations and discussion as the university embarks on a project and a pathway that is sure to be of benefit to the ACT and the university itself.
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Planning, Minister for Roads and Parking, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations, Minister for Children and Young People and Minister for Ageing) (11.39), in reply: I am pleased to speak today on the Planning and Development (University of Canberra and Other Leases) Legislation Amendment Bill 2015, and I am also pleased to be able to report that the bill has been scrutinised by the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety with no comments made. I thank members for their comments during the debate.
Madam Assistant Speaker, when I presented the bill to the Assembly on 14 May this year I affirmed that the economic prosperity of the city and the Canberra region is a high priority for the ACT government. We are committed to ensuring our tertiary education institutions are given every opportunity to thrive and expand. Building our universities is an important part of diversifying our economy by playing to our strengths as one of the world’s top student cities with a strong higher education and research sector.
The Australian National University, the University of Canberra, the Australian Catholic University, the University of New South Wales—ADFA—and Charles Sturt University all play an important and vital role in growing our economy. Together, they currently add $2.75 billion to our economy each year and support almost 16,000 jobs. Canberra is one of the world’s top student cities.
While not detracting from the many achievements of all of these great institutions, I will focus today on the University of Canberra, as the bill was developed to support the innovation and vision for that university’s future. The University of Canberra is not simply a provider of education services; it is a multifaceted institution which engages in successful research and collaboration, as well as offering cultural, sporting, professional, technical and vocational services, and engaging in public discourse.
The innovative vision of this university, to develop and evolve new ways of delivery, is demonstrated across many platforms and delivers real beneﬁts for our local community. The University of Canberra and other leases amendment bill, together with territory plan variation 347, which is on public notiﬁcation until 19 June, are part of an ambitious program of reforms to boost the higher education sector and secure Canberra’s position as Australia’s education and knowledge capital.