House debates

Monday, 15 June 2020

Statements by Members

COVID-19: University Sector

1:57 pm

Photo of Lisa ChestersLisa Chesters (Bendigo, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

The COVID economic crisis has hit many sectors hard, including our university sector. JobKeeper was set up to help save jobs, so why won't this government extend JobKeeper to the university sector? Upon hearing that they had been excluded from JobKeeper, La Trobe University wrote to its staff to say that there would be redundancies—about 300 to 400 jobs gone. The staff have also been asked to take pay cuts. The university has said that even these job losses and pay cuts may not be enough. The sector is in dire need of support.

If this Prime Minister and this government really want to help out struggling sectors that have been hit hard by COVID-19, then they would back the call of people in my community: La Trobe University in Bendigo. Hundreds of people have signed a petition that has been in our papers calling on this government to back in La Trobe University and to help save these jobs at the university's campuses in Bendigo, Bundoora, Wodonga, Mildura and Shepparton. Why won't this Prime Minister save these jobs and back the call, like so many people in my electorate have done? Why won't he save university jobs and help save a sector that is critical to recovery in this country? Do the right thing and back the people of Bendigo.