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Thursday, 10 May 1984
Page: 1883

To the Honourable the President and members of the Senate in Parliament assembled: This petition of the undersigned citizens of Australia respectfully showeth that the reduction in the subsidy to tertiary student residential colleges of twenty-five per cent announced in the Federal Budget will:

1. Increase the financial hardship already being experienced by Australian students. The cut in subsidies to colleges will undoubtedly increase fees for that accommodation in 1984. Many students will be forced out of tertiary education as they will not be able to meet these increased costs particularly as the Tertiary Education Assistance Scheme only gained a maximum increase of $2.80 per week in the Federal Budget.

2. Decrease access to education for country students. Many country students live in college accommodation either to attend tertiary institutions in the metropolitan area or in regional centres. The cut in the subsidy to residential colleges will even further disadvantage this group of students who already have comparatively low participation rates in tertiary education.

Your petitioners therefore call upon the Senate to ensure:

(1) That the full subsidy to student college accommodation is immediately restored.

(2) That the Federal Government assume financial responsibility for all student college accommodation to prevent the planned closures of colleges in Victoria.

(3) That two student representatives are appointed to the committee of the Commonwealth Tertiary Education Commission reviewing student housing.

(4) That new forms of college accommodation are investigated which would be more appropriate to the needs of the current student population, i.e. accommodation appropriate for students with dependent children.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.