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Tuesday, 28 October 2014
Page: 12240


Ms MacTIERNAN (Perth) (13:57): Bella, a 17-year-old Perth girl, contacted me recently to describe the impact that the massive increases in university fees and funding cuts have already had on her. Bella is an energetic, entrepreneurial—

Mr Pyne: They haven't even started yet.

Ms MacTIERNAN: Just listen. Bella is an energetic, entrepreneurial young woman who has set up a part-time business as a dog groomer to support herself while studying. Bella says that, while it might sound like a cliche, she has wanted to be a vet from the time that she was six. She was starting an on-track alternative pathway at Murdoch University but she has now suspended her studies since she learnt that her vet science degree, with the interest payments, would cost her an estimated $175,000. This liability terrified her—

Government members interjecting

Ms MacTIERNAN: but you obviously would not understand it. You would not understand that a young girl from a modest background would be terrified by a debt of $175,000.

Mr Pyne: Stop scaring Bella!

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Leader of the House!

Government members interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order!

Ms MacTIERNAN: So Bella has now suspended her studies and she is begging us to block this legislation in the Senate. She wants her dream to be a vet to stay alive, and I have pledged to Bella that we will fight this every inch of the way.