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Nelson should drop VSU ideological madness.

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Duncan Kerr SC MP

10 August 2005


The national day of action on campuses throughout the country demonstrates that students recognise voluntary student unionism as Liberal Party ideology gone mad, Denison MHR Duncan Kerr said today.

"This attack on student services is causing enormous upheaval in our tertiary institutions.  In both Hobart and Launceston, students also made their feelings very plain. 

"I would urge concerned Tasmanian students and their families to contact the offices of Senators Abetz and Barnett particularly, but also the Member for Bass, Michael Ferguson, if they haven’t already. 

"Tell them to pass on your feelings to the Prime Minister and the Education Minister.

"Students from the University of Tasmania are right to protest against Nelson’s agenda.   They know how hard it is to get by on very little, and how much they depend on campus services provided for students, by students.

"The Liberals’ Coalition partner, the Nationals, clearly agree with the students.  They do not support voluntary student unionism because they know their young rural and regional constituents will suffer if there are no union services available on campus.

"It is simply wrong, and shows a disturbing lack of vision, to deprive young people of much-needed and appreciated services, when they are studying to make this country’s future.

"The Education Minister reaped all the benefits of a free, public education and undoubtedly took part in some of those events or recreational opportunities provided by the student union.

"The system simply isn’t broken.  It works and it is equitable.  It delivers to UTAS students and it helps them to enjoy their campus life. 

"To use some of the vernacular of my teenage son, voluntary student unionism absolutely sucks".

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