It is the second rally held at the university in as many weeks, with protestors sending out a message to politicians that the cuts are ‘dumb cuts’ and will hamper Australia’s capacity for research and innovation.
However, the Government says the cuts are necessary to meet the recommendations of the Gonski review
Holding banners and signs that said, ‘Cutting Universities to fund schools is just dumb,’ staff and students marched around Bush Court at 12pm. Rallies were also being held at UWA and Curtin University on the day.
The protests, organised by the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) and the National Union of Students as part of national action, urged Federal MPs to follow the lead of the Greens and independent MP Andrew Wilkie and vote against the cuts.
Gabe Gooding, NTEU WA Division Secretary, said that the cuts were especially damaging for WA and said they organised the day of protest to coincide with budget day.
‘WA will be uniquely worse off as a result of these university funding cuts. The half cohort of school students will halve university enrolments and funding in 2015, just at the time when these cutbacks will really hit hard. This ramification appears to be unknown outside the state,’ Gooding said.
‘We will see, as a result of these cuts, a decline in funding per student which means we’ll see course cuts, we’ll probably see larger class sizes and we’ll probably see a higher level of casualisation in the sector,’ she said.