THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
SENATOR LOUISE PRATT
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR UNIVERSITIES
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR EQUALITY
SENATOR FOR WESTERN AUSTRALIA
REVIEW INTO UNIVERSITIES SIMPLY A DISTRACTION FROM CUTS AND CHAOS
The announcement of a review of the rules and regulations protecting freedom of speech on university campuses is simply a distraction from the cuts and chaos caused to the sector by the Morrison Government.
Labor does not accept the notion that there is some sort of crisis in freedom of speech at Australian universities.
As the Education Minister points out, Australian universities are autonomous institutions that have their own policies, procedures and practices regarding freedom of speech.
Australian Vice-Chancellors only last week have re-stated their enduring commitment to academic freedom and intellectual inquiry.
The announcement of this review comes after it was revealed last month that the previous Minister for Education and Training vetoed independently approved Australian Research Council funding grants for political reasons.
Instead of pretending there is a crisis of free speech and politicising our research funding, the Government should instead be focussed on supporting our universities to continue to deliver world class research and teaching.
This starts with reversing their more than $2.2 billion in cuts and lifting all caps on university places so that thousands of Australians don’t miss out on the opportunity of a university education.
WEDNESDAY, 14 NOVEMBER 2018