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Greens Leader joins Tassie uni students to oppose Labor's dumb cuts

Media Release
Christine Milne 18 Jul 2013

Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne has rallied students at the University of Tasmania in Hobart to oppose Labor's $2.3 billion university cuts.

Senator Milne, who met with Tasmanian university students today, said the Greens would stand strong in the Senate to oppose any moves to cut university funding.

"Labor's dumb uni cuts, supported by Tony Abbott, will hurt Tasmania even more than other states. The good news is they have not been legislated so we can make this election a referendum on university funding," Senator Milne said.

"The Greens will work closely with students across Tasmania to make sure Labor's dumb uni cuts don't go ahead.

"We only have one university in our state and we are proud of UTAS. We need it to offer the courses and opportunities our students deserve.

"We do not want to see fewer courses, larger class sizes, less access to research and increased pressures on cost of living for students.

"The biggest losers in Tasmania will be the students who are struggling to pay for education and basic life costs.

"Converting scholarships to debt will act as a disincentive to people thinking of going to university and this is a real blow in a state where the unemployment rate is one of the highest in the country.

"Labor's uni cuts will harm brand Tasmania. As an economy in transition, investment in higher education will create resilience in Tasmania. It's as simple as that."

Greens Denison candidate Anna Reynolds said the Greens had a plan to increase university funding by 10 per cent which would deliver a $76.5 million funding boost to UTAS and protect students from a potential debt increase of $13.1 million over the next four years.

"The Greens are the only party in Denison with a fully costed plan on how to protect and boost the important role that UTAS plays in Hobart," Ms Reynolds said.

"We also fully understand the huge debt impact that Labor's plans will have on UTAS students and we have a plan to ensure students are not slugged in this way."

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