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James Cook University.

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Senator Natasha Stott Despoja Australian Democrats Higher Education Spokesperson 30 April 2003 MEDIA RELEASE 03/268

James Cook University

The Australian Democrats welcome the ACCC’s decision to allow James Cook University’s current enrolment policy to continue.

Democrats’ Higher Education spokesperson, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, said the original ACCC decision was flawed because it underestimated the value of student organisations as representatives in the university community.

“The Democrats are emphatic that universities cannot take over the crucial representative functions of student associations,” said Senator Stott Despoja.

“To do so creates a massive conflict of interest where a university effectively would be representing itself against itself in cases of dispute.

“That is why autonomous student associations are absolutely fundamental to good governance and social justice in universities.

“We are delighted the reason the ACCC has given for changing its view is consistent with the Democrats’ arguments,” concluded Senator Stott Despoja.

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