Students rally against Budget

protest against higher fees
protest against higher fees

The students were hoping to disrupt a planned business lunch for Finance Minister Mathias Cormann at the Aviary restaurant on William Street, but the event was cancelled.

Protest organiser and National Union of Students member Emma Norton said the Liberals had declared class war. ‘We refuse to give them any peace,’ Ms Norton said,

‘We will disrupt and drown out any Liberal MPs who show their face in public until this budget is torn up.’ It is the second protest in less than a month, after 7000 students rallied together on May 26 during National Day of Action.

Under the proposed changes, students will pay more for their degrees, face a higher interest rate on student debt and have pay back their loans sooner.

From 2016, universities will be able to set their own tuition fees and students will have to repay loans after earning more than $50,638 a year.

The Federal Government is also increasing student loan interest rates by up to 6 per cent, instead of remaining at the rate of inflation.

Edith Cowan University Vice-Chancellor Professor Kerry Cox said the university would freeze fees for students who started university in 2014 to provide fairness and certainty.

‘While ECU will be carefully analysing the effects and opportunities from the Federal Budget for ECU’s strategic development and operations over coming weeks and months, it is promising to see that provision has been made for additional scholarships for disadvantaged students,’ Prof Cox said.

‘ECU is committed to widening access to university to those from non-traditional backgrounds and we welcome measures that support this.’