The Government today called on the Liberal Party to end its filibuster on the Higher Education Support Amendment (Student Services and Amenities) Bill and allow it to proceed to a vote in the Senate.
Senator Chris Evans, Minister for Tertiary Education said the bill has the support of the entire university sector and would allow universities to provide student services such as sporting and recreational activities, employment and career advice, child care, financial advice and food services.
“It will assist universities in rebuilding vital student services and amenities to ensure that they can support their growing student populations”.
“So far, eighteen of the twenty-seven available Liberal Senators have spoken to the Bill and the debate is now entering its fourth day.
A key feature of the new arrangements is that students can benefit from better student services while they are at university but defer payment of the fee through the HECS system until they are earning a decent income.
“The Coalition’s opposition to this important Bill has always been based on ideology rather than facts, Senator Evans said.
“After years of debate, it’s time that this Bill is passed.
“The Liberal Party must now let go and put an end to its mindless negativity which is all about reliving the student political battles of the past rather than looking after the best interests of students.
“Universities will need time to get systems in place to introduce the fee and they will need time to properly consult their student bodies on the proposed uses of the fee.
“Students are entitled to better services when they start university next year”.