Further analysis into how the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) has directed “Transition Funds” to key marginal and Coalition held seats is either mere coincidence or a calculated pork-barrelling exercise.

As Crikey reported on Friday a draft report commissioned by Australian University Sport and the Australasian Campus Managers Association found that “for the federal electorates which received funding under this program the campuses in coalition held seats received in total more than twice the funding… compared to the campuses in opposition held seats”.

Since the introduction of Voluntary Student Unionism, the Federal Government has found itself in a surreal situation whereby they are now footing the bill for sports orientated facilities such as swimming pools, gymnasiums and even outstanding loan payments. To date this now totals nearly $86 million with no guarantee of future maintenance.

For the not-so-sports orientated student the below figures will be a revealing example of what is valued by the Federal Government alongside education. Previously, the $160 million collected as Student Activities fees would allow the funding of not only sports, but cultural activities as well as basic services such as counselling and child-care.

I have broken up the figures in funding between Key/Marginal seats as recommended on Antony Green’s ABC Election Guide, safe Coalition seats and safe ALP seats. There are some discrepancies due to some universities having campuses in differing electorates. In those situations I have tried to equally distribute them between the ALP and Coalition.

With only a further $10 million — or less — to be allocated in Round Three, it leaves very little hope for any other universities who are now suffering the real impacts of Voluntary Student Unionism the hope of assistance. Many universities — or campuses at least — seem to be missing from this list. Sports and cultural activities on campus could very possibly become a misty eyed memory of those who went before the introduction of the bill.

Key or Marginal Seats

TOTAL FUNDING: $51,882,615

Of which are Coalition: $36,207,074

Of which are ALP: $9,475,541

Of which are Independent: $6,200,000

Charles Sturt University – Bathurst campus   
Key Marginal ALP seat of Macquarie           
$2,600,000

Southern Cross University – Lismore Campus             
Key Marginal National seat of Page              
$2,000,000

University of New England               
Key Independent seat of New England (Tony Windsor)
$6,200,000

University of Western Sydney – Penrith         
Marginal Liberal seat of Lindsay    
$4,050,000

University of Melbourne – mainly Creswick campus 
Key marginal ALP seat of Ballarat
$1,850,000

University of Ballarat                       
Marginal ALP seat of Ballarat         
$3,000,000

James Cook University – Townsville campus              
Near the key Liberal seat of Herbert and the safe National seat of Dawson         
$4,560,000

James Cook University     
Key Liberal seat of Leichhardt                                       
$625,000

University of Southern Queensland
Wide Bay campus – near the key National seat of Hinkler
Springfield campus – safe ALP seat of Oxley
Toowoomba campus – safe Liberal seat of Groom
$5,000,000

Griffith University              
Key marginal Liberal seat of Moreton           
$3,582,074

Central Queensland University – Mainly Rockhampton campus        
Marginal ALP seat of Capricornia                  
$2,025,541

The University of Queensland         
Key Liberal seat of Blair   
$3,000,000

Queensland University of Technology           
Key Liberal seat of Longman          
$410,000

Flinders University              
Key marginal Liberal seat of Boothby          
$2,665,000

Charles Darwin University
Key marginal Country Liberal seat of Solomon          
$5,000,000

University of Tasmania
Key marginal seats of Bass and Braddon as well as safe ALP seat of Denison    
$5,315,000

Safe Coalition Seats

TOTAL FUNDING: $15,264,000

University of the Sunshine Coast – Sippy Downs campus         
Safe Liberal seat of Fairfax             
$5,000,000

Charles Sturt University – Dubbo campus     
Safe National Party seat of Parkes                      
$2,000,000

Charles Sturt University -Orange campus      
Safe National seat of Calare            
$374,000

Southern Cross University – Coffs Harbour campus  
Safe National seat of Cowper          
$1,000,000

University of Western Sydney – Hawkesbury & Campbelltown campus               
Safe Liberal seat of Greenway and Key Marginal Liberal seat of Macarthur  (Pat Farmer)              
$1,000,000

Deakin University – Warrnambool campus   
Safe Liberal seat of Wannon                           
$680,000

Monash University – Gippsland Campus                      
Safe National seat of Gippsland     
$3,000,000

Edith Cowan University    
Safe Liberal seat of Forrest              
$2,210,000

University of South Australia – Whyalla campus
Safe Liberal seat of Grey  
$100,000

Curtin University of Technology     
Safe Liberal seat of Pearce               
$1,535,000

University of Notre Dame 
Safe Liberal seat of Kalgoorlie        
$1,500,000

Safe ALP Seats

TOTAL FUNDING: $14,970,385

University of Newcastle    
Safe ALP seat of Newcastle             
$2,600,000

University of Wollongong 
Safe ALP seat of Cunningham        
$6,600,000

La Trobe University – Bundoora & Wodonga campus               
Safe ALP seat of Batman and Safe Liberal seat of Indi
$2,470,385

RMIT                    
Safe ALP seat of Batman
$700,000

Victoria University – St Albans campus         
Safe ALP seat of Maribyrnong        
$2,600,000

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Peter Fray
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