House debates

Thursday, 3 September 2020

Statements by Members

Higher Education

1:57 pm

Photo of Milton DickMilton Dick (Oxley, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Our country is in the deepest recession in our nation's history, and this government is making it harder and more expensive for people to go to university, when we should be making it easier to get an education. The unemployment queues are longer than they've ever been. We've got over a million people unemployed in Australia and about 350,000 of them are young people. It would make sense at this time for the government to help young people get an education so they can build up their skills, but the Morrison government is telling young Australians that the same science degrees have less value and less importance than other degrees. Fees will more than double for some people studying four-year degrees from $27,000 to $58,000.

Every member of Scott Morrison's cabinet went to university.

Photo of Milton DickMilton Dick (Oxley, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

But they don't think other people—

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for Oxley will pause. I know he's got 90 seconds. He needs to refer to members by their correct titles—'the Prime Minister'.

Photo of Milton DickMilton Dick (Oxley, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

'The Prime Minister', Mr Speaker—every member of his cabinet went to university, but they don't think anyone else should be able to go to university. And what we're seeing, time and time again, when unemployment is going through the roof, is that we're getting university degrees costing more and more. What Labor has always said, and what the member for Sydney has always said, is: with education comes jobs. It's time that this government started listening to young Australians instead of punishing them. More than ever, we need affordable, accessible higher education so that our kids can have good TAFE and good university degrees to put them in the future for all Australians.