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Labor’s failed university plan - pork barrelling in marginal seats

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 14 Aug 2013

Labor is engaging in crude pork barrelling by offering to assist disadvantaged students at universities in marginal seats while refusing to retain the student start up scholarships it has scrapped, Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said today. (SMH

“With about two-thirds of students surviving on incomes below the poverty line it is insulting that Labor are using handouts in selected seats rather than restore the Start Up Scholarships it scrapped in April,” Senator Rhiannon said. 

“Higher Education Minister Kim Carr would know that student debt is soaring and this deters many disadvantaged people from enrolling at universities. 

“The budgetary restraints Minister Carr complains about are self-induced by Labor. 

“The $2.3 billion higher education budget cuts should be reversed and the sector needs a funding boost. 

“All disadvantaged students should be assisted not just those in marginal seats. Start Up Scholarships should be retained and the Green are working for a $100 a fortnight boost to the Student Youth Allowance.

“The Greens plan is for an additional $1.5 billion over four years for universities, which is in line with the ten per cent increase recommended by the government’s Bradley Review.

“Higher education should be a budget priority not treated as a honey pot to be raided,” Senator Rhiannon said.

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