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Tuesday, 29 November 1983
Page: 3017


Mr HODGMAN(10.36) —In the previous legislation dealt with by the chamber the Hawke socialist Government violated 20 solemn election promises dealing with primary and secondary education. At the next Federal election it will pay the penalty for these breaches of these very solemn promises. But the States Grants (Tertiary Education Assistance) Amendment Bill, the Hawke socialist Government, to its discredit, will breach no less than six separate solemn election promises. I remind the Committee and the men and women of Australia listening to this debate that the Hawke Government promised before the election on 5 March, firstly, to increase the tertiary education assistance scheme until it equalled the single unemployment benefit and to maintain that nexus. I hope that every university student and college of advanced education student in Australia will note that that promise has been dishonoured.

The second promise was to raise the tertiary education assistance scheme means test until it equalled average weekly earnings. I hope that every university student and CAE student in Australia notes that that promise has been shamelessly dishonoured. The third promise was to provide 300 post-doctoral fellowships. I hope everybody who was hoping to undertake a post-doctoral fellowship in the academic year 1984 will note that the Hawke socialist Government has shamefully dishonoured that promise. The fourth promise was to establish an emergency student loan scheme to replace the previous Government's student loan scheme. Again, I hope that every university and every CAE student in Australia notes that that promise has been shamelessly dishonoured. The fifth promise was to assist student parents with the provision of child care on campus . I hope that every mother and every father will note that that promise solemnly given, has been shamefully dishonoured.

Now we come to the sixth promise-to improve access for disadvantaged groups. The Government has certainly belted the migrants in this legislation. The legislation refers particularly to those rural students who will be further penalised by a 25 per cent reduction in the accommodation subsidy paid to residential colleges. I ask all rural members of this Parliament on both sides what they think of a government which will make it harder for the young men and young women of rural Australia to undertake tertiary education?

I think that this is a most shameful, disgraceful and dishonourable act by a government. The Government went into the country areas and said to these young people: 'Under our Government you will be able to attend universities. You will be able to attend residential colleges'. As my colleague the honourable member for Farrer (Mr Fife) pointed out, it is not just the ordinary residential colleges which are affected. Once again, the Government is attacking the church colleges and once again it is attacking the church teaching colleges, because it is slashing by 25 per cent the subsidy which would be available to those attending residential colleges. The Government will be condemned on every campus in Australia, in every university, in every college of advanced education and in every theological and teaching college as the greatest bunch of socialist hypocrites ever.

Motion (by Mr Dawkins) agreed to:

That the question be now put.

Bill agreed to.

Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.