Angry university students took to Brisbane streets, protesting Canberra’s cuts to higher education.
They rallied outside the Convention Centre, where the Prime Minister was attending a luncheon.
Lily Nothling reports.
The group started small, but quickly grew.
And their message was loud and clear.
Students chant: “Make education free again!”
The student’s union says young Australians are hurting.
With cuts to penalty rates and a lack of affordable accommodation, education cuts are a tipping point.
Jill Maloy, National Union of Students: “I think we need to show that students aren’t a group that can be picked on, that students are not a group that are going to sit down and take being vilified and demonised. We are going to stand up and fight.”
The Federal Budget will slice 2.8 billion dollars from higher education funding.
It will also lower the HECS-HELP repayment threshold and up university fees.
Vox 1: “We don’t earn much money as it is as a full-time uni student, and I’d rather not have to pay more.”
Vox 2: “Everyone should be able to go to university, not just those who have the most money.”
The Greens say the budget is “out of touch” because an investment in students is an investment in the future.
Larissa Waters, Greens Senator: “People go to university to further themselves and to contribute to the economy. It’s just ridiculous that this government thinks this is somehow a bad idea.”
This protest is just one of many, part of a national campaign catalysing students across the country. The Prime Minister didn’t face the crowd, he had other business to attend to.
Malcolm Turnbull is touring Queensland to spruik the federal budget, focusing on business and infrastructure.
Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister: “We are certainly looking at cross river rail very carefully and in fact we’ve provided ten million dollars to the state government to enable them to do a proper business case.”
No mention of the students demanding action.
Lily Nothling, QUT News.