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Thursday, 9 May 1985
Page: 1596

To the Honourable The President and Members of the Senate in the Parliament assembled: The petition of the undersigned Australian citizens respectfully showeth that:-

(i) The financial situation of students enrolled at Australian post-secondary institutions is already extremely difficult and any increase in the financial commitments of students would gravely worsen their financial difficulties.

(ii) The allocation of funds under the present TEAS provisions on a 'gross income' means tested basis is unviable. To introduce fees on a similar gross income means tested basis would be devastating.

(iii) The imposition of post-secondary tuition fees of comparable levels to those imposed prior to 1971 would force many currently enrolled students to discontinue their studies and deter many persons willing and able to undertake post-secondary study from doing so.

Those students and potential students from social groups currently under-represented and disadvantaged in the education system would be most severely affected by the re-introduction of fees for post-secondary education.

We your petitioners therefore pray that: 1. post-secondary tuition fees not be re-introduced for any category of student;

2. any form of Stamp Duty or similar system of the ''user pays'' principle in education not be introduced;

3. emphasis should be on increasing access to education by, among other things, increasing student financial assistance;

4. the visa charges upon private overseas students be removed immediately;

5. the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs immediately clarify the government's attitude to the re-introduction of post-secondary tuition fees.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.