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Nelson's fingerprints all over Newcastle Uni cuts.

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Senator Kerry Nettle Senator for New South Wales

Nelson's fingerprints all over Newcastle Uni cuts

3rd May 2005

Greens Education Spokesperson, Senator Kerry Nettle, today lodged questions on notice with Education Minister Brendan Nelson to ascertain what role his department is playing in the planned staff and

course cuts at Newcastle University. The Vice Chancellor announced yesterday that up to 450 jobs would be lost and the up to 100 courses could be cut. "Brendan Nelson's fingerprints are all over the radical cuts planned at Newcastle University," Senator Nettle said. "There is a new Vice Chancellor at Newcastle University who appears to be using the worst possible budget analysis to justify a major staffing and course restructure at Newcastle which concurs with Dr Nelson's preferred commercialised, union free model of university education. "Just last week the federal government announced its intentions to introduce its industrial relations agenda into universities. The cuts planned at Newcastle University would allow the Vice Chancellor to take a lead in forwarding this agenda by sacking staff current employment agreements and employing replacements on individual contracts. "The Greens are concerned that the planned cuts may go way beyond what's needed to address budgetary pressure and that the Vice Chancellor is deliberately overstating the problem in order to force through a radical restructuring agenda. "I have asked the Minister to supply details of communications between his office and the Vice Chancellor and more broadly to explain what steps he has taken to help Newcastle University management deal with their budgetary problems. "If these cuts go ahead, student will lose out, the Newcastle community will lose out and the reputation of Australia's regional universities will lose out. "If Dr Nelson is found to have facilitated these drastic cuts then he will

be guilty of sacrificing the good of the Newcastle community in the interests of his ideological agenda to reshape the university environment. "The Greens call on the Minister to think again, and commit to extending regional funding to Newcastle University in order to preserve courses, jobs and quality."

Contact Jon Edwards - 0428 213 146