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There is nothing for university students in the Federal Budget according to WA’s most influential student representation body, the Curtin Student Guild.
Guild President Finlay Nolan said that the Budget offered no significant benefit to the higher education sector that had seen $2.1 billion in funding cuts to students and a loss of $328 million in research.
According to Universities Australia, Tasmania, Queensland, South Australia and West Australia all fall below the national average of young people with a university degree. The uncertainty surrounding the freeze on Commonwealth funding of student places will serve to disadvantage thousands of students who would otherwise be able to attend university.
“Not only were students locked out of the actual budget night announcements, but our demands and concerns were blatantly ignored by this Government,” said Ms Nolan.
“Despite a $7 billion surplus, the government has intentionally chosen to ignore its young people and deny their potential to achieve great success for themselves and the economy through research, employability outcomes, and equal access to a university education.”
Curtin Student Guild stands behind the National Union of Students (NUS) campaign A Future Worth Fighting For. It calls on the government to implement positive policies for the future, such as:
• Increasing public investment into higher education to 1% of GDP;
• The $104,000 HELP loan limit abolished, and the increase of the HELP repayment threshold back to $55,864;
• Investment in accessible, low-cost housing options;
• Restoring penalty rates to the 2016 model, criminalising wage theft and ending permanent casualisation to combat underemployment and work exploitation;
• An increase to income support, particularly Newstart, Youth Allowance, Austudy and ABSTUDY, to at least 75% of the Henderson poverty line;
• Investment in renewables, for a zero emissions target by 2030.
“In the upcoming election, students will be looking for policy initiatives that reflect their values; values that the current government has made clear are not a priority to them,” said Ms. Nolan.
Curtin Student Guild President firstname.lastname@example.org 92662900
About Curtin Student Guild
Curtin Student Guild was established in 1969 to represent the interests of students and help them get the most out of their university experience. Elected student representatives sit on all major university boards and committees. The Guild coordinates free and low cost events, administers clubs and operates food and retail outlets. A Student Assist service provides independent academic, financial and personal advice.
For further information visit guild.curtin.edu.au