House debates

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Statements by Members

Higher Education

1:36 pm

Photo of Peta MurphyPeta Murphy (Dunkley, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

We tell our children that the most important thing for your future is education: 'Get an education. Get training.' And this year has been the year from hell for most of the students in my state of Victoria and around the country. Yet they have a federal government which—not content with cutting billions from TAFE, providing over 140,000 fewer apprentices and trainees today than when they first came to office, slamming universities by keeping them out of JobKeeper and presiding over thousands of jobs being lost—have now just trashed the dreams of so many young people who want to go to university and study arts and humanities and subjects that are about thinking and which—objectively, the research says—are about helping to get a job.

In my electorate, Cooper, 13 years old and stoically dealing with health issues, wants to be a lawyer and has wanted to be for years. When he was talking to his mother about these changes to fees, he said: 'Mum, that's expensive. Maybe I'll do something that's cheaper.' And, as his mum quietly said to me: 'Isn't this response sad, when money defines your career choice?'

Nic has a son who's in first-year law and a daughter in year 12 who wants to do law next year. Her son will graduate having to pay about half the fees of her daughter. And, as she said to me: 'This government is not only trashing education; it doesn't care about women and employment and the workforce.' (Time expired)