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4           Higher Education Support Amendment (Job-Ready Graduates and Supporting Regional and Remote Students) Bill 2020

Order of the day read for the adjourned debate on the motion of the Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology (Senator Hume)—That this bill be now read a second time— and on the amendment moved by Senator Faruqi :

Omit all words after “That”, insert “, the bill be withdrawn and the Senate:

(a)              condemns the Morrison Government and Minister Tehan for attempting to ram legislation through the Parliament which would irreversibly damage Australia’s higher education system and harm and disadvantage students, university staff and communities; and

(b)              condemns the bill which will:

(i)                    hike fees, pushing students into decades of debt as they face rising unemployment and hurting women and First Nations students the most,

(ii)                  slash billions in funding from teaching, including from science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, which will mean bigger classes, fewer teachers and a worse education, particularly in regional areas,

(iii)                force universities to do more with less,

(iv)                fail to create anywhere near enough new places to educate school leavers and people who want to study during the recession,

(v)                  shift the overall costs of university education away from the Commonwealth and onto students,

(vi)                fail to encourage students to do STEM courses,

(vii)              punish struggling students by unfairly and unnecessarily forcing them out of Commonwealth Supported Places instead of helping them, and

(viii)            fail to save a single university worker’s job and worsen the research funding crisis; and

(c)               calls on the Government to:

(i)                    fully fund university education and research, and provide ongoing funding certainty into the future,

(ii)                  ensure job security and good conditions for all university staff, and

(iii)                make university and TAFE fee-free for all”.

Debate resumed.

At 12.45 pm : Debate was interrupted while Senator Whish-Wilson was speaking.