Greens MP and spokesperson for innovation, industry, science and research Adam Bandt has criticised the government's announcement of a near doubling in HECS fees for maths and science students in today's mid-year mini budget.
"Almost doubling university HECS fees for maths and science students is economic stupidity. How can science and maths be a national priority two years ago and now not be?," Mr Bandt said.
"While wealthy mining companies get close to $9 billion a year in handouts we should not be taking $400 million from science and maths education to balance the budget."
"Science and innovation are central to our current and future economic prosperity."
"The $403.6 million saving is a false economy if it means science and maths aren't taken up by our young people. Coming on the back of government cuts to the Science in Schools program, the government is taking science education in the wrong direction."
"The Bradley Review does not justify the HECS increase. HECS fees for sciences and maths were lowered in 2009 when they were made a National Priority and the review was completed in December 2008."
"There is in fact evidence of increased enrolment. In my electorate the University of Melbourne science program has gone from approximately 800 students in 2007 to 2000 students in 2011, more than doubling in 4 years."