Tim PALLAS (Werribee – Treasurer, Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister for Trade and Investment) (14:23):

It gives me great pleasure to be here again. I rise to update the house on how Victoria’s international collaboration with India is going from strength to strength, underpinned by strong support from the Andrews Labor government. I am thrilled to share that Victoria’s own Deakin University will be the first university in the world to open an international teaching campus in India. As Minister for Trade and Investment, it fills me with immense pride that Victoria is a destination of choice for Indian international students. In fact 41 per cent of Indian students in the country choose Victoria. That is compared to, say, 25 per cent choosing New South Wales. As the Prime Minister said yesterday, the new Deakin University campus opens up a new way for Indian students to obtain an Australian education by bringing it a bit closer.

Our international student sector is rebounding so strongly and it is really thanks to the enormous collective and collaborative effort that we are seeing displayed right across our world-class universities and our TAFEs, and I would like to thank them for the way that they have conducted themselves. The international education sector contributes significantly to Victoria’s economy and communities. That is why we have invested $53 million into funding the international education recovery plan, and of course when our international borders were closed there were some in our federal government who told international students to go home. The Andrews Labor government, by contrast, wrapped our arms around them and provided financial relief payments to get them through the hard times. It is clear that only one side of this chamber is serious about investing in international education and growing the Victorian economy. I would like to acknowledge the Indian government for choosing Victoria and Deakin University. (Time expired)