"There is no question in my mind that students will never accept fees. I totally oppose any compromise the government may offer."
Who said that? Why, it was Joe Hockey
, when he was campaigning to be president of the Sydney University Students' Representative Council in 1986. He won and this is what he did as president in 1987, according to uni magazine Honi soit:
"[Hockey's] year as SRC President was chiefly spent fighting Labor’s re-introduction of university fees, which had been abolished under Gough Whitlam."
Hockey's campaign was unsuccessful and HECS fees were introduced -- but fortunately for him, he still got most of his Arts/Law degree for free.
This is, of course, the same Joe Hockey who now wants to allow universities to charge unlimited fees
, significantly reduce government funding per student, make students pay back HECS when they are on lower incomes, and charge a higher rate of interest on HECS debt.
The hypocrisy is staggering. The News Corp tabloids may be vilifying students who are protesting against the cuts, but we reckon they have a point. We also suggest Hockey pay the $37,265 in fees his degree would cost him if he did it now. Of course, if his budget changes go through, that bill would rise.
So ditto, young Joe: students should not accept higher fees from the government, and such moves should be fought against and rejected without compromise.