The Greens want to scrap universities and TAFE fees, while also increasing funding by 10 per cent in a plan estimated to cost $133 billion over a decade.
The minor party’s proposal would generate $139 billion in the same period through whacking offshore gas companies with a 10 per cent tax and ending fuel excise paid to mining companies.
A 10 per cent boost to university funding would be tied to increases in job security, while course fees’ abolition would allow 1.3 million to study debt-free by 2023.
The HELP repayment threshold would be tied to the median wage, meaning students with existing debts won’t begin giving money back until they earn $52,990 on 2019 figures.
Support payments like Youth Allowance, Austudy and Abstudy would go up by $75 a week with all postgraduate students made eligible for Austudy.
Greens education spokeswoman and former academic Mehreen Faruqi said coalition and Labor governments had cut funds to universities and TAFE while giving massive tax handouts to corporate donors.
‘It’s time to end the debt sentence. Young people are graduating from university and TAFE with crushing debts that take almost a decade to pay off,’ Senator Faruqi said.
‘We have universal primary and secondary education. Free public higher education is the missing piece of the puzzle.’