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Nelson sheds crocodile tears over QUT while UWS suffers.



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Sen Kerry Nettle

Press Release

19.02.04

Nelson sheds crocodile tears over QUT while UWS suffers.

Greens Senator Kerry Nettle today accused Brendan Nelson of shedding 'crocodile tears' over the introduction of 'fees for prestige' at Queensland University of Technology, reminding the Minister that while QUT raises fees the University of Western Sydney will be cutting courses and staff as a result of his 'reforms'.

"Students will be slugged around an extra $18 million in fees at QUT whilst UWS will lose around $12 million in funding over the next two years. This is the stark reality of the two tier system Brendan Nelson has introduced," Senator Nettle said.

"The introduction of 'fees for prestige' signals the end of Australia's egalitarian public university system, as a direct result of this government's misguided 'reforms'.

"Whilst universities like QUT enter the 'fee for prestige' race others like the UWS are left to cut courses and staff to get by. Students and their families are the losers in this situation either paying artificially high fees or losing access to courses and quality teaching.

"The Minister was warned umpteen times that his fee deregulation would lead to a two tiered system of fees with prestige as the driving force behind fee increases.

"The Greens have consistently called for significant investment in higher education. For the same cost as last years $4 per week tax cut the Minster could have increased funding and abolished HECS.

"$4 a week is no good to the families of students in Queensland paying an extra $18 million in fees and $4 a week is no good to the people of western Sydney whose university is under threat."

Contact Jon Edwards - 0428 213 146