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UNE supporters left wondering if there is anything Windsor won't do for Labor

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22 April 2013

UNE supporters left wondering if there is anything Windsor won’t do for Labor

The University of New England is set to lose more than $5 million following independent MP Tony Windsor’s announcement he would pass the Gillard Government’s plan to cut $2.3 billion from tertiary education, to the detriment of Armidale and regional students, according to Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Education, Senator Fiona Nash.

"Surely, if there is just one area that should be sacrosanct for New England’s MP, it is New England ‘s University, but Tony Windsor’s unqualified support for massive budget cuts leaves you to wonder if there is anything he wouldn’t do for Labor," Senator Nash said.

"UNE Vice Chancellor Professor Jim Barber has said the cuts, which he described as ‘very demoralising’, will cost the University $5.7 million over the next two years, threatening jobs, courses and the planned redevelopment of UNE’s college system."

"Universities have an economic multiplier effect estimated at over tenfold, so the impact on the local economy, particularly small businesses in and around Armidale, is going to be severe."

"What part of that doesn’t Mr Windsor understand?" Senator Nash asked.

"UNE is planning to provide improved affordable accommodation for regional students who can’t live at home during their studies and who are struggling under the Government’s unfair independent Youth Allowance rules."

"So now those regional students, already disadvantaged by the lack of effective income support, may find student housing even more difficult to access, and on top of all that, the Government is abolishing the Student Start-Up Scholarship, replacing it with a further debt burden."

"Labor has declared war on New England students and for reasons only he can explain, Tony Windsor is leading the charge," Senator Nash concluded.

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