Standing up for Canberra

Higher Education Speech

This week is Orientation Week at Canberra's universities and this morning I joined the deputy opposition leader, the member for Kingston and Senator Carr in paying a visit to the ANU. It is Market Day at the ANU today, so the place was absolutely packed, with thousands of new and returning students excitedly signing up to various clubs and societies that will enhance their university experience.

And what was the message we heard from these students? What did they want to say to us? They wanted to say to us that they do not want the Prime Minister's $100,000 degrees, that they believe a degree should not be a debt sentence and that the uncertainty that the Turnbull government is creating by refusing to walk away from its terrible higher education policy is wreaking havoc.

I was pleased to be able to tell these students that, under a Shorten Labor government, we will scrap the Liberals' $100,000 degrees once and for all, reverse the Liberals' cuts to university student funding, guarantee student funding with an extra $2,500 per year to keep fees down, take action to ensure that 20,000 more university students graduate by 2020, and waive HECS debts for 100,000 science, technology and engineering graduates.

Labor will invest in every student to ensure that graduates have the skills and knowledge they need for the jobs of the future. Labor will ensure that university is an affordable option for every Australian, not just the wealthy.

Download a copy of this speech.