Turnbull declares war on Aussie kids

By Leith van Onselen

Malcolm Turnbull has launched a full scale war against Australia’s youth.

Whilst Turnbull refuses to address negative gearing and the capital gains tax (CGT) discount, which together cost the Budget many billions in foregone revenue, the Coalition is now planning to slash funding to universities by 20%, thus leading to significantly increased fees for Australian students. From The Australian:

Students should expect to be hit with significantly higher uni­versity fees under the federal ­government’s higher education platform heading into the ­election…

It is likely a 20 per cent funding cut, first proposed in the first Abbott government budget, will remain, with the shortfall to be covered by a shift to higher student contributions…

Senator Birmingham told a Universities Australia conference dinner on Wednesday that higher education reform was “necessary to support federal budget sustainability”…

Currently, the government pays an average of 60 per cent of tuition fees, while students pay the balance via income contingent loans, known as FEE HELP.

An inversion of the current 60-40 split would cover university budgets for a 20 per cent funding cut, said Andrew Norton, a higher education policy expert with the Grattan Institute.

“Given the government’s fin­ancial situation, universities are going to have to contribute to reducing spending. It looks very much like the 20 per cent cut is ­officially back on the agenda,” Mr Norton said.

As I noted last year when the Abbott Government first proposed this reform, there are several reasons why voters should push-back.

First, Australian students already pay a higher proportion of their tuition than those in most OECD countries, and fee deregulation would likely result in significant increases in student debt levels, acting as a millstone on their futures.

Second, the impact on women and certain socially beneficial professions would also be particularly bad, as NATSEM’s Ben Phillips demonstrated when modelling the likely HECS debts of female scientists, nurses and teachers based on typical career trajectories.

Third, the higher fees associated with deregulation could actually worsen the Budget, since under HECS, the Government forwards all the money upfront to the University, and given defaults would likely rise.

Fourth, there is no guarantee that the increased fees would be used by universities to improve the quality of teaching/courses. Rather, it is just as likely that they would be used to pad universities’ administration departments, to beef-up research, to pay for lecturers’ junkets, or any number of other follies.

Finally, there is the productivity cost. Malcolm Turnbull has gone to great lengths (and taxpayer expense) to spruik his so-called “innovation agenda”. But surely having a highly educated young workforce free from crippling student debts is a prerequisite for achieving such an outcome?

Thankfully, the Labor Party has proposed more sensible policy.

By addressing the negative gearing and CGT rorts, and in the process raising some $32.1 billion over 10 years according to the Parliamentary Budget Office, Labor can actually afford to raise university funding, which it has pledged to do:

Labor says its higher education plans will cost $13.8 billion over 10 years, while the Coalition’s policies will cut the spend by $12 billion over the same period…

The federal opposition announced last year that it would take a policy to the federal election which promised to guarantee funding which it claimed would deliver $2500 more per undergraduate place than the Coalition. By 2018, a university will receive $11,800 a year per student, rather than $9300 under the current trajectory. The funding will be indexed to inflation, meaning it will rise to $12,100 the next year. It claimed this would cost the budget a net $2.5 billion over the first four years…

The government is locked into a plan the Parliamentary Budget Office says will cut $12 billion over 10 years, Senator [Kim] Carr said.

“Labor’s plan puts $13.8 billion back into the system over the same time period”, he said.

The barriers facing Australia’s youth are already becoming increasingly prohibitive, and the Turnbull Government’s university funding cuts would only add to the pain. Not only will most students graduate with higher debts under the Coalition’s plan, but they are also likely to face poor job prospects following the hollowing-out of the economy, as well as increasing automation. This policy also makes a complete mockery of Turnbull’s “innovation agenda” which is all about highly educated Australians driving productive, disruptive ideas and investments.

Add to this Australia’s sky high housing costs, which Turnbull has endorsed, and a tax system that will increasingly punish income earners while largely ignoring wealth, and the future facing many younger Australians is looking increasingly downbeat.

Malcolm Turnbull has effectively launched a full-scale war against Australia’s youth.

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Leith van Onselen
Latest posts by Leith van Onselen (see all)


  1. What a poor period in history it is to be Australian, soon we won’t even need that moniker as we get torn apart by international rent seeking and demand from foreign interests.

    • I assume that you mean the monicker “Australia”?

      If so, you’re right …’most everything has been sold and what little remains is on the block for sale as well. The lackeys will be coming around shortly with their Dymo labelmakers, attaching [Property of China], [Property of the FED] and [Property of ECB] stickers to everything in sight.

      • Yes Australia or Australian, it seems there is an attack on that label as we get sold out to corporate and global interests, or interests of the wealthy. I feel genuinely surprised now when I find anything with Made In Australia on it.

        This latest scam, I just can’t fathom why it is ok to slug Australian students with extra fees but limiting the ability of the rich to claim benefits via negative gearing is a no go zone. Or why are they not clamping down on the rorts that masquerade as international students and the industry that surrounds that?

      • notsofastMEMBER


        Because part of this funding cut for Australian Students will mean that the Australian Universities will need to go after International Students even harder (yes hard to believe but no doubt it could be done by our esteemed Australia Universities) to make up the funding shortfall. This could help juice the number of International Students in Australia to fulfill the massive increases predicted in the Immigration forecasts for the rest of this decade and it could also help find the people to fill all those small flats in high rise buildings that are being built in Australia’s capital cities. It’s win-win all round with no losers to speak of, except of course for poor and middle class Australians who should know by now that they are losers…

      • notsofast, you’re probably quite correct there. It’s a perfect solution to the dogbox dilemma – fill them up with foreign students who will also gladly pay higher fees.

        As I was reading the article, it also occurred to me that with the young of Australia barely raising a squeak over LNP’s slamdown of reforming negative gearing, it has been taken by the govt that they are happy to accept, or at least apathetic about unaffordable housing, therefore why not slam with something harder – they’ve already shown that they’re not going to march in the streets about anything much. Of course students will complain about increased uni costs, but there’s not going to be that much they can do about it, as these days there are not many jobs available without a degree or two. Sure, they might choose cheaper courses but at least they won’t show up on unemployment stats.

        Turnbull has indeed declared war on the youth. If only they realised…….

      • @md

        This brings up an interesting point re: student protests. How many uni students these days are made up of children of immigrants who come from a culture where they are taught to respect authority and not cause any problems for others, despite their own feelings? Some cultures are very reticent about being outspoken and showing emotion, even about things they care about. Perhaps uni students now have reached a critical mass where cultural upbringing has removed the ability to protest hence why youth today appear apathetic?

    • ceteris paribus

      ‘… A poor period in history…” What? It is the most exciting time to be alive, especially if you are a negative gearer, capital gainer or wealthy superannuant.

  2. Ronin8317MEMBER

    The solution is to cap places for university funding. Increasing what the taxpayer pays will only increase the deficit even more, because the students will borrow from government to attain courses and never pay back as they can’t find employment due to oversupply of graduates.

    • Uncapped places were a massive policy failure of the previous ALP government.

      The problem is, any government trying to put a cap back in will be accused of failing to support the “aspirations” of the next generation etc etc.

      Aspirations my foot. Just look at the youth under employment Leith has covered so well.

      • sydboy007MEMBER

        I’d prefer to see more support to TAFE so we wont be paying $500 call out fees for the few tradies left to do the work.

      • @sydboy007,

        We assume that those who are bright enough will find a way into and through university.
        TAFE is a massive social safety net that has been removed,only to be replaced by inadequate and overpriced private colleges.
        It is also a societal safety net as a lot of the vocational skills that come out of TAFE are what a modern society needs.
        The dismantling of TAFE, and apprenticeships will come back to bite us.

        We mustn’t forget that the land bubble that prevents people from taking on apprenticeships because one can’t afford to live on their wages has also contributed to the destruction of the vocational system in this country.

      • What is happening to TAFE makes me mad, I attend a part time course in automotive restoration because it’s something I enjoy doing. I’ve learnt so many hand skills (my day job is IT) and I find it so sad that each year more funding gets cut and the course becomes more and more difficult to attend and fee’s go up.

        Who’s going to restore Classic Ferrari’s in 20 years when all the boomers are dead? Hmmmm…The younger generation generally don’t have these skills. Hand forming metal etc.. I know it’s an ancient art, but the thing is these skills will be in high demand as more and more ‘old school panel beaters’ retire or die off.

        But it’s not just about restoring cars, I am learning a whole new set of useful skills, like welding, working with tools, paint and paint technology, lots of these skills could be transferred to other areas.

        Instead these courses keep getting gutted.

      • “Who’s going to restore Classic Ferrari’s in 20 years when all the boomers are dead? Hmmmm…The younger generation generally don’t have these skills. Hand forming metal etc.. I know it’s an ancient art, but the thing is these skills will be in high demand as more and more ‘old school panel beaters’ retire or die off.”

        In Melbourne, there is only a handful guys that are able to restore Rolls Royces and none of them are getting any younger. The Rolls Royce expert located in the inner West of Melbourne has ONE apprentice.

      • The attack on TAFE and trade training has been ongoing since the late 80s. Talk to any tradesman and ask about the quality of the training apprentices get these days.

      • Why bother training our own when we can import workers and keep up with the Big Australia program? Didn’t you know, the more crowded our cities, the better, and especially when our housing bubble is in danger of deflating. We can’t let that happen, under any circumstance.

  3. Oh yes, this should unleash the innovation revolution!!

    …could the last smart person to leave please turn off the lights on the way out?

    • All the smart ones I did uni with left the country years ago. Australia is a backwater when it comes to innovation and technology (certainly there are a few diamonds hidden in the housing and holes economy), too many headwinds for start ups or actual research to happen.

      • From my own experience of 30+ years in High tech product development / business there are two factors determining the quality of a development engineer
        1) Which school (as in university), there’s a huge difference between teir1 engineering schools and teir 3 wannabee graduates.
        2) Who their mentor was in the first 3 to5 years after graduation.
        Mentors play a huge role in developing the real world skills and market/application understanding most importantly how to apply technical skills to efficiently address market opportunities.

        Australia’s problem is that there are still some good Engineering schools but there are very few good mentors, so any engineering graduate that aspires to get to the top of his game MUST leave and get a job where he’ll get good mentoring. which means moving to the US/Germany/Taiwan

      • notsofastMEMBER

        But Australia is absolutely world class when it comes to rent seekers. It has the best rent seekers in the world and the Australian Universities should close down all courses except those linked or related to property ownership and investment. The courses could be home Ownership 101, Property Investments 101, Driving the Flashiest Car 101, The Best Dressed 101, Organising and Operating a Barbecue 101 etc for the more well healed and for the less well healed you can have courses like Living on Instant Noodles 101, Why You Deserve To Be Poor 101, Australian Nationalism 101, How To Be a World Class Sport Player & Supporter 101 etc, etc.

        To further reflect this reality the Prime Minister should change his title to the Prime Rent Seeker. Australians should no longer go to the election to elect their Prime Minister but instead elect their Prime Rent Seeker. And the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) should have their name changed to the Department of the Prime Rent Seeker and Supporters (the PRS&S) to more accurately reflect what they actually do.

      • CB,
        fair comment re ‘development engineers’

        however, many more engineers who graduate in Oz go on to careers outside of the tech/app/product/development space, and Australia has provided some rewarding and varied opportunities for all kinds of engineers (over the past 15 years, as I have witnessed), without leaving the country.

        As an Australian chemical engineering graduate of ten years, I can say that this nation has provided me a plethora of world-class projects to work on in my chosen field, and some of the folks who mentored me in this country are also technically world-class and inspiring people. Its not all doom and gloom

    • Josh MoorreesMEMBER

      I don’t really get how anyone can report on the innovation boom with a straight face when the government is busy slashing CSIRO funding and university funding?

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Its a weak as piss media that doesn’t loudly and insesently demand a clarification of this contradiction from our lying politicians.

  4. bolstroodMEMBER

    We don’t need all these well educated young people.
    Remember THE PLAN.
    Australia’s part is to be a Mine/Quarry, with a bit of agriculture.
    We are going to be rich from Iron Ore and Coal.
    Instead of basket weaving, latte /chardoney sipping,we will sell houses to each other to pass the time.

  5. I just finished paying off my HELP debt. Nearly 10 yrs since leaving uni.

    I feel sorry for our current crop of university students and recent graduates.

      • For some I imagine there are good opportunities OS that don’t exist here, but that’s only ever going to be a minority. Otherwise you’re right, working/middle class are getting screwed in all OECD countries by the same sort of policies. As ever, the increased fees are justified by the utter BS of ‘Budget Sustainability’ despite centuries of evidence that that deficits are not only normal, but also desirable.

  6. What about the super scam we all fell for? Save your money in super rather than have a pay rise and spend it! Well where did that get us? Effectively, those that saved are now paying the “no pension tax”. We are living off savings that we could otherwise have spent and don’t get the pension, which amounts to the same situatyion as a massive tax on the retirement incomes of those who saved bu couldn’t get enough to be able to live of the income from your super fund as opposed to eating into capital. Effectively we are being taxed (through the foregone pension) on our use of saved capital.
    The highest effective marginal rates of taxation/foregoen benefits/least net reward) are on those who are in the transition between unemployment and work and on those who are living off capital in super funds and not eleigible for the pension. In these days of super low interst rates, the capitalisation of the pension is like having a million bucks in the bank and living of the earnings, but having a 100% death duty on the remaining capital. I know this won’t get much sympathy, but for the middle class marginally self funded superannuant not entitled to any pension they pay the highest “no pension tax” on a totally regressive scale compared to the very well off and uber rich for whom the tax benefits of superannuation as it existed under Howard/Costello totally outweigh the loss of the pension. The most regressive “taxes/loss of benefits are on the newly employed at low wages with high travel costs and on the barely self funded retirees.

    • I think you make some valid points Explorer. People tend to get caught up in the idea of several hundred thousand or a million dollars in super being a lot of money. In relative terms it is sure, but the money had to come from somewhere, and any sort of reasonably safe return that can be achieved on that sum these days is abysmal.

      The sacrifices that people made to save that money is often overlooked too.

      My parents worked their arses off out of an old fashioned sense of taking personal responsibility for their finances. They neither had great jobs or standout intellects, and yet just managed to become self funded in retirement. Understandably Dad was a little bitter to see that peers who had pissed away their money on self indulgence throughout their working lives were now able to enjoy their extravagant homes and trinkets while being maintained by a taxpayer funded pension which, as you suggest, is worth the return on a million dollars.

      On the other hand I have mates who get the old defined benefit indexed Govt pension, which as a percentage of their final income at retirement date is worth the return on 4 or 5 million dollars.

      Elsewhere the seriously wealthy can sock away enough millions of dollars that the low returns on offer are irrelevant. Worst case, they can live off the capital without future risk, and can afford to take riskier bets and still be ok.

      Fair and equitable? Not even close.

      • notsofastMEMBER

        The family home valued above say $2.5 million should be included in the Pension Asset Test on a sliding scale. For all those below the age of 72 (i.e all boomers and below) the family home should be fully included in the Pension Asset Test.

        This will make sure that we are not forcing the very elderly from the family home as this can have a devistating effect on them but has the benefit of making younger retirees strongly consider moving to a smaller place before they get too much older.

      • I’d rather see it with homes over $1.5M. Nobody would be forced out of their homes, but what’s wrong with taking out a reverse mortgage or a bit of equity out of the huge profits they’ve made to supplement their pension?

    • That’s because a long time ago some people made a very generous and legally binding promise to themselves that later generations would have to keep.

      • Yep, another variant on the case of “other peoples money”. In other words disconnecting personal actions from personal consequences. Debt is an awesome thing for partying today, especially if you can have someone else down the line picking up the tab. And why would the banksters use their influence to push this model? Debt slaves off into the horizon and beyond. Thanks BBs! The sovereign’s power to unilaterally tax the populous has effectively been privatized, the question is, does the sole right to the legal use of force follow for non-payment or will they keep their hands clean in this regard and leave it to the government?

      • Jumping jack flash

        Acquire something essential for cheap.
        Initiate a debt bubble. Inflate the price of everything, but mostly concentrated inside the market for that thing.
        Sell your thing at “market value” to some poor schlub who’s willing to take on a debt mountain for it.
        Live happily off the debt money while someone else pays it back to the bank.

        Its the recipe for instant success and it has been very well executed. Hats off.
        No work required. What’s a factory? What’s an export?
        Sell the factories to acquire more essential things that we can pump and dump for more debt dollars.

    • Get your money out of super as quickly as you can explorer. The system is broken and unless you are very wealthy or have an SMSF you’re better to have control of your capital.

  7. The Whitlam system of free university funded extreme middle class welfare. The previous system of full fee paying made tertiary education the preserve of the rich. The system of bonded teachers scholarships and means tested commnwealth scholarships and corporate bonded scholarships wasn’t a bad compromise in hindsight. The current privatisatio/corporatisation of education is a total rort and waste of funds. It is incredibly poorly structured, provides perverse incentives for signing up students who can’t complete the courses, and then burdens the least able with debt for which they end up with no real benefit, other than the old computer gift scheme.
    The whole system needs an overhaul with an output focussed, means tested scheme with scholarships for the least well off.

    • I’m with you all the way Explorer, but you won’t get much sympathy on this blog. Perhaps if we had a tertiary entry exam that rewarded the bright with lower fees and discouraged those thousands of students who shouldn’t be wasting everybody’s time and money at uni, we may get a better system. Relate the fee to the needs of society, say free entry to medical students who pass a requisite test of ability, and bond them to hospitals. Leave the medical profession out of the equation so they aren’t all feathering their nests in certain areas. It may make Australia like Cuba in the medical field but would that be such a bad thing? Ditto for other professions. The socialists on this site would go for a scheme like that. Education wastes too much money and time on hopeless degrees, but keeps the vice chancellors on $million dollar salaries.

      • Socialists… you need to look it up methinks…

        Skippy… additionally Uni is not all about getting a high paying yob… how can you have an informed democracy without a broad knowlage base.

      • Skippy, no-one talked about high paying jobs. Lot’s of doctors competing means a better outcome for the taxpayer. Socialists love spending other peoples money, I’m sure that applies to most of our politicians. I would disagree that uni’s are a source of a broad knowledge base. They are almost, without exception, purveyors of Marxist philosophy.

      • “how can you have an informed democracy without a broad knowlage base.”

        Broad knowledge base? Wait, isn’t that what we have The Block and My Kitchen Rules for?!

        “Socialists… you need to look it up methinks…”

        There are only two things anybody needs to know about socialism: it’s bad and all “lefties” are socialist. It’s simple, Skip!

      • Please desist with the everyone other than your mob is Socialist and Marxists, as well as the trope that competition is the cure all to all that ails humans.

        The other “peoples money” meme is also another stock talking point, do you have a printing press in you basement?

        Skippy…. as far as you drama wrt Uni – that was part of the plan in running them as business and cert mills. I find your discourse exhibit “A”.

      • @ skippy
        how can you have an informed democracy in an missinformed society even if all of citizens have broad knowlage base

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Hadley, At first I wanted to call you out as “moron” for your call,
        “I would disagree that uni’s are a source of a broad knowledge base. They are almost, without exception, purveyors of Marxist philosophy”
        And I wanted to call out RW for his equally retarded coment,
        “There are only two things anybody needs to know about socialism: it’s bad and all “lefties” are socialist. It’s simple”
        But I then watched the following clip and realised that you guys maybe on to something!
        Even Scoccer it seems, is part of a Socialists take over of the world!
        What have I done to my boy,….letting him play this evil game of socialist indoctrination?


      • “Soccer is against God”

        Now this guy knows exactly what is going on.. Finally some sanity comes to MB! He sees what those european, soccer loving, socialists are up to. He sees.. Seriously, who the hell needs our socialist infested universities when you have YouTube wisdom like this?

        “What have I done to my boy,….letting him play this evil game of socialist indoctrination?”

        It’s ok, stay calm. Just make sure he’s not sharing things with his friends or thinking of others before himself. That could be a sign that his been “socialized”! In the meantime get him out there asap and into a real form of football.

      • Josh MoorreesMEMBER

        I feel like the internet needs a political version of Godwin’s law. How quickly can a conversation degrade to calling something Marxist despite the fact that today’s ‘lefties’ are probably further right than the hard right decades ago.

      • Josh…

        Democracy is now a Marxist commie plot to over throw the virtuous Corporatists and their bought and payed for political puppets…. click your heels together three times whilst murmuring free markets…

        Skippy…. its like some strange case of OCD….

      • FiftiesFibroShack

        Every comment from hadley seems to mention Socialsim or Marxism is some way. He seems to have a few screws loose.

  8. Seriously, the picture should be changed – know the humour etc etc, but something a little more subtle would be better (care of my wife).

    • No. Australia’s youth are being fleeced to satisfy the lifestyle demands of a generation (boomers) who are consuming more of the national wealth than their parents (who lived through the depression and fought in WW2) did.

      It’s an inter-generational war, grandparents vs their kids and grandkids. Keep the pictures emotive, the baby in crosshairs should be turned into a recruitment poster.

      • Disagree… torch…

        The multifaceted age bracket – that you simplify into boomers – enjoyed a brief moment through no action of their own. In which they could as “first in best dressed” have the advantages the nuclear family template offered. From the 70s onward the state of affairs slowly changed where productivity was funneled elsewhere and credit was extended in lieu of, hence the over burden now.

        Skippy…. if people want to point out ownership of this mess… they should start with the economic schools which enable and provided the advocacy for it…. for a price…

    • I’m somewhat with Torch. Our society takes offense at a picture of a ridiculously cute kid within the crosshairs, but barely flinch when we remove their chance for self-determination and actively jeopardise their ability to live as well as those who came before them. I’m not having a crack – I just find it perplexing.

      • “self-determination” – coincidence and cognitive behaviorism have a lot to say about this theory now days….

        Skippy…. Still the last 50 years has environmental changes which can not be squared.

      • My favourite t-shirt of my PhD days was by a group in Brisbane called Ponsonby Press who did a t-shirt called “Nevermind”. It was a green t-shirt with an image of Kurt Cobain with a shotgun in his mouth and more red than you can shake a stick at. As I said – I am the obedient servant of she who must be obeyed (RIP Rumpole) who said the image was in poor taste and should I wish to continue using the computer today, I must express her displeasure with the image. So, comment posted and good to see many share my view that it is totally appropriate (she is out playing at a mahjong tournament now so I have freedom!).

  9. A country that invests six times more in its past than its future in bound to fail.

    They feel its more valuable in propping up the already extravagant largesse of boomers, than invest in the future prosperity of thus country.

    This is a scorched earth policy.

    • “A country that invests six times more in its past than its future in bound to fail.”

      Kudos on the phraseology, RP. I can see Barista Bowen using it.

      • Truly a great quote! I’d love to see a long-term chart showing the distribution of government spending broken down by recipient age group.

        Are you familiar with Strauss-Howe generational theory? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strauss%E2%80%93Howe_generational_theory

        It feels to me that the Crisis generation works on the theme of “sacrifice”, the Silent Generation that sacrificed itself and worked hard to establish a better future. Then came the lucky members of the “High” then “Unravelling” generations for whom “exploit” and “me me me” seem to be the common themes, which transitions into “eat the young” as they become elderly. Next come the Milennials who will be sacrificed into the next World Crisis.

        The pendulum seems to swing between “sacrifice myself for the young” and “sacrifice the young for myself”. The young being eaten are the ones who end up sacrificing themselves for their young.

        So as parents we shouldn’t sacrifice too much for the kids, lest they turn into “eat the young” exploiters themselves, but we shouldn’t hammer them too hard either, lest they pamper their own kids too much in response. Balance in all things.

  10. Fourth, there is no guarantee that the increased fees would be used by universities to improve the quality of teaching/courses. Rather, it is just as likely that they would be used to pad universities’ administration departments, to beef-up research, to pay for lecturers’ junkets, or any number of other follies.

    Yep. The Vice Chancellors and Pro/Deputy Vice Chancellors will be salivating at the chance to get some more cash to splash on research or other pet projects.

    Given the Federal Government’s focus on research rankings I can forgive them the former, as they’re just trying to compete in the system government created for them.

    As to the latter, I’ve seen money wasted on pet projects with questionable outcomes for students that only exist so that someone can make a big deal of how great it is (paid junket to boot!) and whack it on their CV for career progression in the university sector.

  11. he knows he lost all young votes, so he is trying hard to win all elderly votes. Where he may fail miserably is estimate of how many young voters are out there (more than BBs) and how many parents actually care more about well-being of their kids than them-self.

  12. OK, so this is effectively “tax on education” using LNP’s own words regarding NG removal as “tax on investment “. How come that education tax is fine?

  13. I dont see why taxpayers need to pay for other peoples privilege to study at university for several years. Somehow Labor promise to spend more when we’re already in debt, maybe they just want everybody to have a useless degree, as long as they aren’t faced with the cost of their decisions.

    Any deregulation should be supported. Let people actually be exposed to the consequences of deciding to consume education resources.

    • Traditionally graduates earned more money and thus paid their own way via higer tax payments. Now unis are just another rent seeking debt merchant who provide wothless bits of paper to the highest bidder. Educating people is not their main motivation.

    • “I dont see why taxpayers need to pay for other peoples privilege to study at university for several years”
      So wasting taxpayers money on Negative Gearing rebates privilege is Ok but wasting the same money on education (which should be a constitutional right in a democracy) and future generations is bad and unfair.
      I can just put my fingers on exactly what’s wrong with this country’s mentality shifting to the extreme right where “Socialism is for the rich and Capitalism is for the poor”

      Malcolm Turnbull is the exact right person along with his party for this nation fellows.

      • You can’t compare spending with money that isnt taxed.
        A failure to tax something is not a subsidy.

        I’d like a constitutional right to free vacations in Hawaii, could you please vote for that too ?

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        I’d like a constitutional right to free vacations in Hawaii, could you please vote for that too ?

        What benefit does everyone get from that ?

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      I dont see why taxpayers need to pay for other peoples privilege to study at university for several years.

      Well that’s hardly surprising. You probably don’t see why taxpayers need to pay for other people’s privilege to have someone on the other end of the phone when they dial ‘000’.

  14. I broadly support this article’s arguments. HOWEVER, you do not get ‘excellence’ in teaching environments where lecturers are not given time & resources to attend industry conferences/refresh skills/update their research. On one hand we’re supposed to be cutting edge, in touch with industry & the real world, and not stuck in our ivory towers; on the other we’re only worth our salary if we’re in front of students all day, every day. Does no-one else see a disconnect here?

  15. I’m in the twilight zone.
    Right now it feels like ordering the leading political parties on economic logic goes:
    1) Greens
    2) Labor
    3) LNP

    When all the rhetoric says it should be the exact opposite order.

  16. Theres no difference between the 3 major parties.

    * Taxes up.
    * Spending up.. they only argue about the composition of spending and rate of increase.

    Politics has nothing to do with economics. Its about rewarding your supporters and punishing your enemies.

    Some parties align themselves with middle class, families, some with elderly, some with the youth and the welfare recipients. They all have the same motive – win power.

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      Sure, in the same way there’s no difference between rape and consensual sex because they both have the same objective.

  17. More neoliberal economic and social dogma that is designed to work for the 1%. In any other respect it is a failure unless your objective is to impoverish the majority of the population who are asleep. I think we need to rethink Australia as being the clever innovative nation. The governments innovation adverts should be reported to advertising standards as a gross misrepresentation of their policies..

  18. Aussie1929MEMBER

    Someone commented on MB ages ago that they think politicians wont touch NG until the RE bubble correction is in full swing. That has stuck with me ever since. Anyone else agree?

    • NG will go when the Blessed Generations have finished working and no longer have an income to use it on, just like free university ended after the Blessed Generations had moved through and finished their educations.

      Coincidentally this will coincide with the end of the RE bubble as a large source of its rise is due to the inflows into super funds that become outflows once the Blessed retire.

      The Blessed Generations vote and vote hard you see.

      • I wouldn’t bet on that Med, with the SMSF funds leveraged up to the hilt, under the current rules they will continue to invest holus bolus even in retirement phase.

      • One thing I have been saying for year is that the more negative gearing contributes to higher prices, and more decoupling from rent returns, then the more the need for neg gearing. If neg gearing was removed or modified and prices fell to be more in line with rents, then you wouldn’t need neg gearing.

        So at the moment, in the main cities, where say a property costs $1M, then it typically rents for $500.00 per week. But years ago, that property would have cost $500K to rent for $500. Now that the bubble is too big to burst there is no way neg gearing will go. Even if Labor get voted in, there will be such strong opposition from the housing lobby as well as those already neg gearing or planning to neg gear, that they (Labor) will be forced to back down. It was pressure from the property lobby that made the Hawke/Keating govt reinstate it back in the 80s, and nowadays it affects many, many more people.

        Therefore, we have to persist with the housing bubble and hope that it bursts spectacularly under its own weight or due to some external force. Negative gearing will stay until some time after that point.

  19. On another but related note about stealing from our citizens, the Feds have just announced the RAN supply ships will be built in Spain. The ASC have released a statement asking why this was not released when MalT was in town pork barrelling Adelaide as the centre for the defence industry and rustling 230M from his wallet. No wonder the sanctimonious prick left town on the last stage. I guess we’ll be making paper plates for the officers’ mess. Meanwhile the Jap subs will be showcased in Sydney harbour for the upcoming war games. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-11/japanese-sub-heading-to-sydney-to-bolster-defence-bid/7238420 What did Turnoff say about not being afraid of the global economy? Be very afraid with dopes like this in charge.

    And more to the point yesterday the ALP released policy that they would increase funding to Universities by 1.3B over the next ten years.

    At least one party is pointing to the future.

  20. 19 institutions offering Zoology courses in Australia


    74 zoos listed in australia


    I just called Monash Uni and asked how many zoology students are enrolled , ans. sorry that information is not available to the public, Graduates ? again not available to the public.

    The young are being skun by everyone. At some point they will be a majority or a voting block and there will be a day of reconning !

      • While watching said commercial able to contemplate 85 K hecs debt and 7.5 dollar an hour hospitality job.

        You can doubt all you like mate but tell me what you would do?

    • desmodromicMEMBER

      ’19 institutions offering Zoology courses in Australia
      74 zoos listed in australia’

      Tonydd, I assume you are making a connection between training places and job opportunities. The trouble is very few to none of the newly trained zoologists will be interested in working in a zoo. Zoos are populated by keepers and vets. Zoologists tend to go bush and study the natural world.

  21. Speaking of Universities and property, the University of Melbourne has been buying up all manner of properties in the Parkville and Carlton area over the last 10 years.
    Most recently (April/May 2015), it purchased the Prince Alfred pub


    Yet the pub is still without an operator/tenant.

    There is plenty of money for buying up property but surprisingly little for staff….


    • “There is plenty of money for buying up property but surprisingly little for staff….”

      Of course! They finally figured out that it’s way easier and more profitable to just specufest than actually run a business.

      That also explains why they’re more attractive lately.

      • Yep, you can’t write off wages but you can deprecate a building or run it at a loss and reap the capital gains. Welcome to Smart Australia.