Australia's students are feeling let down by a federal government which fails to fully recognise the value of tertiary education in Australia, says Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Christine Milne.
Senator Milne is attending a ‘Pollie Pledge' signing hosted by the Tasmanian University Union in Launceston today, calling for politicians to use their vote in parliament for students.
"Put simply, students are our future. They are the people who one day will form the backbone of our nation, from world class renewable energy experts to rural nurses and doctors.
"So I have no qualms in signing this pledge that asks me to stand up for student education, rights and support.
"The Pollie Pledge asks for greater equity in student income support, and the Greens are the only party who takes this seriously.
"We plan to raise Youth allowance payments to equal the new rate of Newstart. That's an extra $115 in the pocket of every student.
"The pledge also asks for better housing affordability. This comes as no surprise when you consider about 66 percent of students are under extreme housing stress with the cost of rent being about 35 percent of a student's average living costs.
"The Greens will support the development of university housing plans for students and we will allocate $50 million for a student specific National Rental Affordability scheme where universities will receive financial assistance to build student accommodation.
"A combined boost for student income and housing affordability means students are better placed to focus their attention on learning and excelling in their chosen fields instead of working unreasonable hours just to cover their expenses.
"Students represent a bright future for Australia as an innovative and competitive nation, so it is common sense, and only right that we help them on their way. All politicians should be signing this pledge"
"It is hypocrisy indeed for those politicians who received a free university education themselves to now deny the same to the next generation of students."