Bill's Transcripts

TASMANIA’S FUTURE WILL SUFFER FROM ABBOTT GOVERNMENT’S $113 MILLION CUT TO UTAS

 


Tasmania’s economic future will suffer if the Abbott Government’s cuts to universities go ahead, with the state’s only university – University of Tasmania – slated for a $113 million cut to funding over the next four years.

 

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten visited UTAS’s Cradle Coast Campus in Burnie today with Labor Senator Anne Urquhart to talk to academics and students about fighting the cuts.

 

As a result of the cuts, UTAS’s Cradle Coast Campus in Burnie will be hit hard, and the university will be forced to consider abandoning research, significantly raising fees or cancelling courses.

 

This is an ideological crusade from Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne that will cost the next generation of Tasmanians a decent shot at a good education.

 

This isn’t just bad for Tasmanian students, this is bad for the future prosperity of this state.  What sort of future does the Abbott Government want for Tasmania if it’s actively discouraging young people from going to university?

 

Tasmania needs a skilled workforce for the future - not the Americanisation of its only university.

 

Universities across the board are saying these reforms will lead to market failure for regional and non-metropolitan universities – regional universities will close if these changes go ahead.

 

The cuts will hit particularly hard in Tasmania, where many students will struggle to make it to university and stand to have their options severely limited by these unfair changes.

 

Fees will have to rise to recoup the shortfall and most Tasmanians will simply not be able to afford to pay $100,000 for a degree.

 

The increase in interest on HECS debts will further disadvantage Tasmanian students, with more than a quarter of UTAS students from low socio-economic parts of Tasmania.

 

Modelling by education economist Professor Bruce Chapman shows that poor graduates will pay 30 per cent more than those who are richer because of the real interest on student debts.

 

These cuts are a disgrace and Premier Will Hodgman should stand up for Tasmania by joining Labor’s campaign against these harsh cuts.

 

MONDAY, 15 SEPTEMBER 2014

MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053