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Monday, 25 May 2009
Page: 4210


Ms LIVERMORE (6:37 PM) —I am very pleased tonight to present the petition that you see before you, which is a national petition driven by the National Tertiary Education Industry Union’s ‘Our Universities Matter’ campaign that received 17,354 signatures from right around Australia. The petition asks the government to improve Commonwealth funding to reflect the real cost of delivering internationally competitive research and education as well as allowing each institution to follow its own particular mission, make access to higher education more equitable and affordable, improve student services at our universities and provide legislative protection for the distinctive characteristics of our universities—especially academic freedom and institutional autonomy.

I am very pleased to say that in response to this campaign and the recognition of the importance of higher education for a productive and fair Australia, the government has delivered for tertiary education in the budget. We have announced a $5.7 billion package over four years in response to the Bradley and Cutler reviews. This includes a student centred system which will enable 50,000 new students to commence a degree by 2013, a landmark increase to university indexation, a phased move to address the gap in funding for the indirect costs of research, major reforms to student income support, major investment in higher education research and VET infrastructure totalling $3 billion through the Education Investment Fund and additional recurrent funding of $2.1 billion over the forward estimates for higher education teaching, learning and research. This is a priority for this government. (Time expired)


The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon. AR Bevis)—The document will be forwarded to the Standing Committee on Petitions for its consideration. It will be accepted subject to confirmation by the committee that it conforms to the standing orders.