Terri Butler MP, Labor for Griffith

Against the government's most recent attacks on higher education

Speech given in the House of Representatives on 26 March 2018.

Ms BUTLER (Griffith) (13:13): I rise to contribute to the debate on the Higher Education Support Legislation Amendment (Student Loan Sustainability) Bill 2018. This is an unfair bill which attacks students and puts up further barriers to getting a university education in this country. It's not driven by reform principles; it's merely an attempt by the government to make budget savings. Consequently, I move:

That all words after "That" be omitted with a view to substituting the following words:

"the House declines to give the bill a second reading because it attacks students and would undermine the fairness of Australia's world-class student loans scheme".

This bill is yet another example of the Liberals' war on young people. Since they came to office, we've seen repeated attacks on universities and students through funding cuts and attempts to increase fees. It's always been part of the Liberals' agenda: cut unis and make students pay more. If it weren't for the strong opposition of Labor and the crossbench, as well as the community across this country, we would already have $100,000 degrees and real interest applied on student loans. This bill is yet another example of how the government is going after students.

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