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Thursday, 13 August 2009
Page: 4883

Senator CAROL BROWN (1:58 PM) —It is with pleasure that I rise to speak on the Higher Education Legislation Amendment (Student Services and Amenities, and Other Measures) Bill 2009. I will attempt, in following Senator Mason, to outline exactly what this bill does as opposed to making what seemed to me to be some very bizarre statements from the good senator. This bill seeks to rebuild student services and restores a means for independent democratic representation and advocacy on university campuses around Australia. The bill largely seeks to address the problems that have plagued Australian universities, including in my home state of Tasmania the University of Tasmania, as a direct result of the introduction of the short-sighted and extremely corrosive VSU amendments back in 2005.

As the Minister for Early Childhood Education, Childcare and Youth noted in her second reading speech, this bill outlines a robust and balanced solution to ensure that students have access to vital campus services needed to help them navigate their way through university life, achieve success in their studies and actively participate in the university and wider community in general. The Rudd government has made investing in education at all levels a priority.

Debate interrupted.