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Thursday, 9 December 2004
Page: 9

Senator BARTLETT (Leader of the Australian Democrats) (10:05 AM) —At the request of Senator Stott Despoja, I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the review of the cost adjustment factor indexation mechanism for Commonwealth funding of universities provided for under the HigherEducationSupportAct2003 will not be an independent review,

(ii) a review of such importance should not be conducted within the confines of the Department of Education, Science and Training and the Government,

(iii) the university sector has no confidence in the review of indexation delivering an appropriate outcome, and

(iv) without improved indexation, universities will have few alternatives to meet funding shortfalls other than increases in student fees when they approach the end of the Government's `Our Universities: Backing Australia's Future' package in 2008;

(b) condemns the Government for under-funding universities for the past 8 years, partly through inadequate indexation, to such an extent that universities are now turning to students to provide a short-term increase in funding; and

(c) calls on the Government to:

(i) make all paperwork pertaining to the review public, in time for the sector to make informed comment before the review is completed in February 2005, and

(ii) rule out any further higher education contribution scheme increases.

Question agreed to.