Queensland Greens Senator Larissa Waters and Greens candidate for Leichhardt, Jo Kloot, today met with National Tertiary Education Union members at the James Cook University Cairns campus to discuss the Greens plan to increase university funding by 10 per cent over the next four years.
Senator Waters said: "Labor's planned university cuts - which are supported by the Coalition - will hit Queensland university students hard.
"The Greens university funding boost will ensure hard-working university staff can engage in quality teaching and research, here in Cairns and across the state.
"It comes on top of our plans to reverse Labor's $2.3 billion higher education budget cuts," Senator Waters said.
Queensland Secretary of the National Tertiary Education Union Margaret Lee said: "The Greens are standing up to Labor and the Coalition who are planning to rip $2.3 billion in cuts from higher education.
"The prospect of a Coalition government gaining control of both houses of Parliament raises serious concerns for the future of university workers and students.
"Labor's plan to cut funding to universities to increase funding for schools is short sighted and illogical. All levels of Australian education, including higher education, should be provided with the necessary resources to provide an internationally competitive quality of education," Ms Lee said.
Greens candidate for Leichhardt, Jo Kloot, a mature-aged student, who is the President of the JCU Sustainability Club, said students in Cairns were struggling with the high cost of living.
"To achieve the best results they can, which will drive Australia's future productivity, students need financial support to cope with the high cost of living.
"That's why the Greens support increasing Youth Allowance by $50 a week.
"Students need to be able to afford to eat healthily, to get to and from lectures and to have time free from work to study.
"Through the Student Association, which also has its funding in jeopardy from the Coalition's plan, we have started a program of giving away healthy, local food to students, who are struggling to get by, with the JCU Sustainability Club assisting with sourcing food for this project.
"Often students in regional locations are under even more pressure than those in bigger cities as it can be much harder to find casual work and to access public transport," Ms Kloot said.