THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
TERRI BUTLER MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR PREVENTING FAMILY VIOLENCE
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR UNIVERSITIES
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR EQUALITY
MEMBER FOR GRIFFITH
TURNBULL MUST RULE OUT IGNORING THE SENATE TO CUT UNI FUNDING
Malcolm Turnbull must today rule out going around the Senate to impose unilateral and unfair funding cuts.
According to media reports today, the Prime Minister is so determined to rip money out of higher education to pay for his $65 billion big business tax cut that he is considering ignoring Parliament.
He must rule this out today – otherwise he will stop at nothing to cut university funding and make students pay more.
Mr Turnbull needs to go back to the drawing board and start again with a plan for investing in Australia’s future.
Threats to re-introduce caps to university places and abolish Labor’s highly successful Higher Education Partnerships and Participation Program (HEPPP) are short-sighted and mean spirited.
At a time of economic transition, we should be investing in schools, TAFE and universities, and boosting participation so that young people can get the skills they need for the jobs they want.
When Labor was last in office we introduced the demand-driven funding system which saw more than 190,000 additional places for students at university.
HEPPP supports people from disadvantaged backgrounds to go to university. During the term of the last Labor government it helped boost Indigenous student numbers by 26 per cent, increased regional student numbers by 30 per cent, and supported more than 36,000 extra students from low income families into universities.
The Liberals have already cut $200 million from HEPP. What’s left of this program must be protected.
It is clear is that there is no support in the university sector or the Parliament for cuts to universities and increases to student fees and debt.
MONDAY, 28 AUGUST 2017