I congratulate Liam Charles for his article (Sentinel-Times, September 2) showing the human face of the proposed changes to tertiary education.
While it is indeed heartening that the minister Christopher Pyne is considering Russell Broadbent’s concerns, don’t hold your breath for a positive response otherwise you will need a defibrillator.
The problem is that the present Abbott-led government is really not concerned about the impact on a few students, real as they may be.
It has a much bigger agenda; this is a government that seeks to promote the ‘Market’ as the sole organising principle of the economy and society. In effect, it is engaged in a culture war and the students are just some of the victims.
The economic measures in the budget are indefensible on any grounds and not least because they will promote even greater inequality in our society and will hit our rural communities hardest of all.
The government and its ministers are not concerned about this; what interests them most is ensuring their market ideology is firmly entrenched.
If you do not believe this, then just review the present and future government actions, including the sale of public assets, deregulation of our tertiary education system, the removal of funding from advocacy organisations to silence the criticism and the replacement of successful non-profit quasi government organisations by private enterprises.
Prime Minister Abbott has learned Mrs Thatcher’s lessons very well; the Iron Lady has become the Teflon Man.
Nowhere is this more obvious than in health which is my specific field of interest.
In health we are witnessing the closure of the recently established Medicare Locals and very successful GP training organisations to be replaced by fewer, even more centralised private enterprises appointed by competitive tendering.
At the end of the process it will be the rural communities that will be disadvantaged the most.
The proposed Medicare co-payment is but a thinly veiled attack on the principle of universal access to health which will be keenly felt in our local community.
Overall, these marketisation policies will lead to growing inequality, fewer opportunities for rural people and an underclass of working poor. If you don’t believe it, just take a look at the USA where the middle class have experienced falling living standards for years, where the working poor are frequently having to work two or three jobs and where the richest in their society get richer by the second and wealth and income becomes concentrated in the hands of the few.
John Turner, Inverloch.
Abbott doesn’t care