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MEDIA RELEASE: CAPA condemns Government’s attack on student representation

10 Dec 18

CAPA condemns Government’s attack on student representation

The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) is appalled to hear that Senator McGrath has, on one of the last sitting days of the year, moved a notice of motion for yet another attack on the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) and on the funding of student bodies and representation.

The member organisations of CAPA unanimously moved a motion during the recently concluded Annual Council Meeting, condemning this move by the government and reinstating CAPA’s support for and commitment to properly funded student representation, for which SSAF should be considered the minimum standard.

This is the latest move by the Government to signal their ideological opposition to universities. Over the past year, we have seen unrelenting funding cuts to research and universities, capstoned by the ARC funding scandal, as well as measures to rip money directly from students. The move to introduce voluntary student unionism signals that the Government wishes to disempower students from being able to effectively speak out against their actions towards universities and students. The introduction of voluntary student unionism would also mean the defunding of student rights services, which assist students who have experienced difficulties or disputes with their university.

“Cutting SSAF will mean the end of services which are beneficial to students’ wellbeing and their experience at university. SSAF is used to fund counselling, student rights and legal services at universities, as well as student associations which are an essential part of university landscape,” says CAPA National President, Natasha Abrahams.

“It is appalling that conservative voices in parliament which to see the end of these services due to their inherited, nonsensical ideological opposition to SSAF.”

Motion: that Council notes with disappointment the notice of motion raised by the government in the senate to launch yet another attack on SSAF, and reinstates our commitment to properly funded student representation.

For comment:
CAPA National President Natasha Abrahams
M: 0430 076 993