Dr Patricia Petersen, Leader of the Australian Independents, said that over 50% of prostitutes in Australia were full time students and that many had entered the “oldest profession in the world” because they were struggling to pay rent, electricity and eat.
Dr Patricia Petersen said that her party was committed to abolishing TAFE and HECS fees and was concerned that young people were leaving university “with a $100,000 plus debt”.
She said that the Australian Independents would also allow students to earn more money each week, an additional $200 per week, before their allowance was impacted on and immediately address cost of living expenses if elected.
Dr Petersen said that she knows how many students are working as prostitutes because she has taught “thousands and thousands” of students at numerous universities and TAFE in Australia since 1994.
“I’ve lectured at the University of Queensland, Central Queensland University, Queensland University of Technology, University of Melbourne, RMIT, University of New South Wales, University of Notre Dame and Brisbane TAFE and taught well over 10,000 students during the past twenty years. Students confide in me; they tell me what’s going on in their lives, how they earn their money and how many other students are working as sex workers,” she said.
“University and TAFE should be accessible to everyone and this includes young people from working and middle class families. We need to abolish all fees and give young people a leg up,” said Dr Petersen.
Dr Petersen, who lectures in Economics, said that for “economic reasons”, we should abolish university and TAFE fees.
“We are currently lagging well behind other OECD countries in relation to investment in education, research and innovation. Education is capital. We are a first world country; there’s no reason why we can’t be known as the smart nation and become globally competitive,” she said.
Dr Patricia Petersen (Leader of the
Australian Independents and Lead Senate Candidate for
Wednesday 21st of August 2013