Greens Senator for Tasmania, Peter Whish-Wilson is calling on the Government to abandon its plans for university deregulation to prevent further distress and uncertainty for Tasmania’s students.
Senator Whish-Wilson said, “Today, the University of Tasmania Vice Chancellor Peter Rathjen, made it perfectly clear that under the Government’s deregulation policy, that without significant special assistance, the University would need to look at closing their Burnie and Launceston campuses.
“Less funding, higher fees and fewer campuses is the direct opposite of what Tasmania needs to raise its educational attainment levels.
“Students and parents of students will be livid at the uncertainty the government is forcing onto them at this crucial time in their lives.
“UTAS is the biggest employer in Launceston and Northern Tasmania. The Member for Bass and his fellow Tasmanian Liberal MP’s should not be rolling the dice on thousands of essential jobs.
"The last thing we need is to further disadvantage the people of Northern Tasmania through campus closures.
“How can someone plan their future if they don’t know where they will be able to study and how much it might cost them?
“We need policy certainty and increased investment in the university system to encourage more Tasmanians to take up the option of higher education. The Greens will again campaign for this at the next federal election.
“The local Liberal MPs, Brett Whiteley, Eric Hutchinson and Andrew Nikolic are delusional if they think that university fee deregulation is anything but a distaster for Tasmanians.
“They need to step up and call on their government to end this farce and give UTAS staff, Tasmanian students and parents the ability to plan their futures,” he concluded.