House debates

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Statements by Members

Education Funding

1:48 pm

Photo of Amanda RishworthAmanda Rishworth (Kingston, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Health) Share this | | Hansard source

We see today another broken promise by this government. Before the election the then opposition said they would make no cuts to education. We have seen a bill in the parliament that cuts education—$5 billion-plus in our higher education system. It is students who will foot this big cut to education, but of course this package goes much further than that. It takes us to a place where only those who can afford to go to university can, not the brightest in this country.

Mr Nikolic interjecting

I hear the member for Bass interjecting. Of course, he promised at a forum last week that he would lobby the Prime Minister to get rid of real interest rates. Unfortunately, Member for Bass, real interest rates are up to six per cent and are in the bill. Maybe the PUP Party will have more success than the member for Bass in lobbying his own government. We know that this will have a significant impact on low- and middle- income families. It will deter students in many families from choosing to study at university. We know that if, for example, women choose to go to university that their debt will be much larger than that of their male counterparts. This is unfair legislation that targets low- and middle-income families and destroys the dream of so many to get a university education. I ask the government to reconsider this poor package and scrap the whole thing.