Debate over university cuts rages on in Rocky

HIKED: Uni fees are a concern for Senator Watts, student paramedic Ben and Keppel MP Brittany Lauga
HIKED: Uni fees are a concern for Senator Watts, student paramedic Ben and Keppel MP Brittany Lauga Contributed

STUDENTS will pay more and universities will receive less from the Turnbull Government's $65 billion tax cut, claims Labor Senator Murray Watt.

He was on campus at CQUniversity yesterday hearing the thoughts of those right in the firing line.

"The Government's higher education budget announcement means that fees for local university courses will increase,” Mr Watt said.

"Magically though, the government can find the money to give big business a tax cut that it doesn't need and that won't create any new jobs.

"Clearly, the money being raised from students is being funnelled straight to big business. This is wrong.

"And while local students and their families suffer, local MP Michelle Landry is once again missing in action, nodding along to whatever Malcolm Turnbull says.”

He said the thousands of students that call Central Queensland home will no longer be able to afford their tertiary study.

"These changes come on top of others from this LNP Government that are hurting young people, including cuts to penalty rates and income support, introducing underpaid internships, and failing to take action on housing affordability,” he said.

"CQ is already facing some of the highest youth unemployment in the country.

"It is unacceptable that young people in CQ will be saddled with a big uni debt at the same time as they are trying to find a job, buy a house, or start a family.

"Labor invests in education because we believe it's an investment in Central Queensland's future, producing well educated, well trained locals, for good, well paid jobs.

"Michelle Landry has a choice. Support these cuts that hurt students and their families, or stand up and fight for fairer and more affordable degrees.

"We know Michelle Landry won't do a thing unless students and young people get out and campaign against this cruel cuts.”

Ms Landry argued that her government, was in fact, striving to increase the funding for all Capricornia students.

"So is Senator Watt admitting the Labor Party wants to overturn the small business tax cuts we've passed?” Ms Landry said.

"There'd be hundreds if not thousands of businesses in CQ interested in the answer to that question.

"As for higher education reforms, if we don't make changes to the way the loan scheme works, it's estimated around a quarter of the current $50 billion of outstanding loan debt will never be repaid.

"Taxpayers, including those who have never attended university, will still fund the majority of university fees and costs - around 54% of the cost on average, as well as significantly subsidising the student loan scheme.

"My government is committed to improving the education system and budget measures this year will see increased funding of $112-653 in 2018 per student in Capricornia. A better education system will mean better futures for our children, and that is something I stand behind.”

Topics:  cquniversity cuts labor michelle landry senator murray watt

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