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Tuesday, 2 June 1987
Page: 3776

To the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives in the Parliament assembled.

We, the undersigned, wish to register our opposition to the recent introduction of the administrative charge for higher education students because:

1. the annual administration charge will inevitably restrict access to higher education for a range of disadvantaged groups, particularly women, rural dwellers and some low income earners.

2. students will be deterred from study because of the probable escalation in the charge in future Budgets, prohibiting students ability to plan the long term costs of their education.

3. the charge is ill-conceived and unfairly penalises part-time students, age pensioners and Austudy/Abstudy beneficiaries who, in many cases, have to wait for months for reimbursement of the charge-amongst others.

4. the imposition of the charge is contrary to the education provisions of the ALP/ACTU Accord and ALP policy which states that the party ``will maintain the provision of free tertiary education''.

Your petitioners therefore pray that the annual administrative charge for higher education students be immediately withdrawn and that subsequent funding shortfalls be met from general Government revenue.

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