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Wollongong's HECS record Nelson's shame.

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Michael Organ MP

Greens Member for Cunningham

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2 February 2004


Today’s disclosure that Wollongong has the nation’s highest HECS debt is a shattering indictment of the Howard government’s tertiary education policies Cunningham MP Michael Organ said this morning.

“I was stunned to learn that 3325 students in the Wollongong postcode area owe an incredible $31.95 million in Higher Education Contribution Scheme debt”, Mr. Organ said.

“Comi ng on top of the news that Wollongong University doesn’t expect to make any final round admission offers, it shows the contempt in which Education Minister Brendan Nelson and the Howard government hold the people of our city.”

“What an appalling record - Australia’s highest unemployment rate of 9.6%, uni places running out and the country’s highest HECS debt!”

“The obvious nexus between education and employment opportunity seems to have escaped Howard and Nelson.”

“The government must provide university places for all eligible students, and not add further burdens by increasing HECS charges”, Mr. Organ said.

More from: Michael Organ MP 02 4228 3666, 0439 442 550 Allen Clark (Media Adviser) 0439 464 439

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