So, what is your name and what do you represent?
My name Belle and I am with associate alternative. I am a retired and part of the national union of student’s campaign to make education free again
So, according the budget of 2017,there is more than two billion dollars from tertiary firm, to be cut down, and that include 10 %, partially received by students and parents, which in the future will have to pay more , and earlier on repayment. So, all these, and Malcolm Tembo said the other day to the media that he will bring school funding worth to an end, what do you think about this?
I think it is like a total, to warn young people in a lot of ways. So basically, the qualities are just like to shuffled the funding around, maybe taking some from the more expensive private high schools and giving it to some other ones that haven’t actually increased any more funding to education and then at the same time. Just as you said , having two billion dollars out of higher education, and I think it goes totally against what he is telling government, to pitch themselves like giving everyone a Fargo , which is actually totally disadvantaging international students, and working class students, unlike affecting rich kids. It does not affect kids that are capable of funding their own education and getting a well-paying job in the end. It actually affects people from the tribe, a lot of these come from low and serious backgrounds, and this makes it hard enough to get out of the close situation.
So, what appeal does the protest on 17th of March have to make?
We are sending a clear message to the liberal government that when you attack students. We will fight back, and I think this message was pretty clearly outlined in 2014, when Ube hockey budget came out and tried to introduce the regulation to the university fees. And the Americanization of our universities, which would have potentially increased university fees up to one hundred thousand dollars. And we made a big protest, and this is the first protest since the budget, and we want it to be big, and lively all over Australia, and every city is coming out, to say like, if you attack the students, we cannot just lie down and take it. Students have a history of fighting back this stuff. In the 70s, it was a bit like radicalism, and protesting for things like that, to send a clear message that we are not just going to take it. And we know what they are doing, and they are not gonna take money out of higher education to give it to primary schools over there, we know that it gonna mean shattering education in the future, and if we allow this to go through, they can do more attacks later on.
So, can you explain what will happen after the settlement of the legislation and if not, what has to be undone
Well, it I hard to tell because a lot of it is in the university, and the university will make these decisions. But I can tell you that the 3.8 million dollars is not gonna come out of the vice chancellor’s salaries, they will be very well off still, as the standing vice chancellors are the well paid off in the world, or whatever. So, it will probably end up with a staff cut, as we have seen literally in the last few years, there has been a lot of restructuring, which is just done for cutting a lot of departments, and a lot of faculties in staff like that, which means that if you need any help we have to go to ask the tribe, which is made of students, and they don’t know answers to many of questions, they are actually not that helpful. They try really hard. But they are paid much less to what a faculty really offers. That is one of the ways that they would make up the two billion dollars. Another way is the increase to what you pay, so the university is to check up your degree by 7.5 %, but if they are allowed to, they will, because they have to make up that to billion dollar funding cut somewhere. Is that kind of what you mean?
Yes. What happens, how much ill they have to pay? More…
Well, I mean, there is 7.5 % fee increase , which will be up to 4000 $ more for a degree, which doesn’t sound much when you are paying on hits, but it actually is a lot more down the track. Well, if it is for wages, wherever. And I think you just need to look around a little, and see what has been happening so far. And it is going to get worse. My students talk of having courses that doesn’t even resemble a course, any more, you can’t find a lecturer to actually talk to, about stuff, and they actually run off their feet. And there they get lack. Like with hours’ worth of marking past students past semester whatever it is, no one gets great feedback for our work, and most of our classes are just like YouTube videos now, I think we just see more of that kind of stuff
So, all these, who has to be responsible for these?
I think the government needs to be responsible, like we have already seen these people to take care of us, to be take care of ordinary people, but it is increasingly obvious that they do not, especially not the liberals. It’s very obvious they look for the rich, and so I think I think it is the country’s responsibility to give good and accessible education to the people, and we know it is possible. In 1970s, Kolfon grand gave free higher education for all, it is actually that successful, and a lot of people, like even in politics, a lot of people said it was a good thing for Australia. It was great for the economy. So, it is for the government that should be responsible to funding these things. A place to start is taxing the rich, not giving them 50 billion dollars where the tax cuts, it would cost 8 billion dollars to fund higher education a year, when you think about how much corporations are avoiding tax, like you should be saying will, it should be getting up from
So, we just say to them if you can make face to face will agree,
There is probably be a lot of swearing, but, I probably say like we know what you are all about, we can say they are attacking some vulnerable people in the society to fund your millionaire lifestyle, and your bodies, in big business, and we can say like three and students are gonna take it.
So, just to air up, when you say it’s about more to the rich people right? Do you mean those funding to the private schools, like they have increased 40.5 billion, and 12 billion to the public schools and, 1.5 billion to catholic schools, all these, do you thinks this are sort of, helping the rich people instead of needy students
As in when they increase funding to private schools?
I think it is like private schools, are private for a reason, and it is pretty crazy that public school in some cases get less funding than private schools, and so I think it is kind of ideological thing of work, yes, say positioning themselves at the side of the wealthy people in the society, private schools decide to be private schools, that means if you don’t belong to the government, you want to be a public school, not have both, like they don’t want to be private and funding as well, so, I think, yes, you are right , it is totally in line with the gender the liberals choose, you know in giving more money to the rich. I think they are just school, they should be funded. I think that is not an issue, and I think the funding should be equal based on how well reserved schools are. I think everyone has a right to go to a religious school or not a religious school, and they have a right to exist
Okay, so what is everyone have to do to change this?
I think is starts with the protest on Wednesday, May 17. As I said before, like in 2014, or in the seventies or whatever think education was won through protests,and2014,the deregulation gave back fire by thousands and ten thousands of students coming out in the streets, and protesting, and also like protesting liberal senators and MPs whenever they came on campus, it was like we chase any case upon to retrieve campus in 2014,and so in the media the headlines was liberals attacking students and students fighting back, rather than thy have done a rather good job in getting fury, Or there is educational forms or whatever, so it really starts with people standing up from fighting back, and they are concerned a bit with cliché , but the fact is that it has worked, and it is the only way that we have actually won anything in the society, like Australia is a prosperous country and we are very lucky. But they haven’t handed us anything. All our rights that we have now have been fought by unions and students and student unions, and we just need as many student out in the streets as possible, because it’s the only power we are not gonna lay until the next election to vote them out, because they would have already got us there. Yes
Thank you Bella. Thank you.
All right we are starting. Okay. I did an interview once with am Member of Parliament and I forgot to record it. It went for half an hour. She was kind enough to do it again but I had to wait for her in her hose and office to be available. Imagine how that feels. All right. So double check the technology is good lesson. Double check. Okay so can you first, so this is just about environment movement in Australia and I am doing a research from 1967 to present, and this is the future article so environmental movement like idea of environmentalism would be main character of this story. So what is your name and what is your expertise. my name is doctor Benjamin Habib a lecturer in international relations in department of politics and philosophy and specialized in north east Asia security and also international environmental politics.okay.so can you briefly tell me the field you specialize in when you working in environment.
Yes sure at the moment aim doing g research into the relationship between grass root sustainability project and environmental movements and the international climate change treaty. Okay. Yeah. And the point where all the different players and those things come together that the really interesting at the environmental politics at the moment. So what is Australian role in this international dynamics? That interesting question if you look at the UN framework convention on climate change the negotiations are going on around the treaty, Australia plays an important role as one of the biggest exporters of coal in the world and emissions sort of middle arrived in terms of total size. But per-capita Australia has almost the worst greenhouse footprint in the world. Because of the kind of economic activities particularly the mining sector yeah so we have a big stake in contributing to the programme. But also as for our country we can play some important leadership role which we haven’t been doing for the last so long and part of that is the domestic environmental movement here hasn’t been strong enough to push environmental issues and climate change onto the policy agenda with this current conservative government. What is environmentalism? Environmentalism is a branch of politics and political actions that is devoted to preserving, protecting environment from harms related to human activities is much more about protection as well is about intersects with other issues social justice issues like land rights and indigenous struggle. And how people relate to the land, is about how we structure our economy because economy one of the primary ways humans interferes is with nature so some of the economic structures negative damaging behavior so that’s important part of environmentalism its more less arguments about economics just as much as it is about the environment. But it also can be about security as well, not just security of nations but about the security of individuals people. Because a lot of things that contribute to human security is not about physical safety from violence is also about do people have fresh water, fresh air, and safe places to live free from disease that kind of staff that is directly related to the environment. Which is then directly related to security of ecosystem.so if we take eco system security how humans feed into ecosystem as one of the many difference species that contribute to that ecosystem. So its broad.so is Australia considered as environmental friendly. Yes or no. As I said as a developed country we have quite a big environmental footprint because there is very strong relationship between economic activities and environmental harm because every all economics activities uses resources and some way or another and produces waste as a result of that resource use. So the more economic development you have necessarily the larger the pollution an environmental footprint of that development and also as a resource supplier to the global economy you know Australia contributes to environmental impact that occur in other countries as well. But having said that there is very strong grass root environmental movements here and activist groups doing a really good job advocating for environmental protection and different modes of organizing the economy to make it more sustainable and less destructive. There is the good and the bad but Australia is very illustrative of this. Based on your knowledge what is Australia attitude to your environment in 1960s? In 1960s, the main debates were over conservations, do we set aside land to preserve wilderness so that we don’t take that land for urban scroll or development activities or farming so is about do we try to preserve as much as nature as possible. What do people attitude to towards environmentalism now? Much more broad. Climate change is the big issue of the time and that was not on the radar of mainstream society in 1966 so now this is a big issue people understand, some people understand interdependence between humans and the environment in the way that was not quite the same in fifty years ago. Politics, the environment has become a political issue. In 1960s, no politician would ever have talked about the environment as an issue, whereas now we have the grains where political party whose primary issue is environmental protection and climate change is an issue that all political party has grapple with. It shaping things like the debate of what kind of energy system we would have so this transition to renewable energy. Dominating the politics, once involved in the politics of refugees and asylum seekers in because environmental harms in other countries are contributing to refugees rise.so its environmental issues underpinning so many different parts of politics and policies debate at the moment and people are much more aware of this. But then there are other concerns how people make living? Are there enough jobs? Other things that tend to take precedent in the pecking order of importance for ordinary voters that often rank above the environment, so it is much better but there is still work to be done. Speaking about green, what are the greens roles in the environment as far as you know what significant contribution they have made? Let us in Australia the greens growing out from franklin protest movement in Tasmania in 1980s that was 70s and 80s that was movement, protest movement that was resisting the building of a dam on the franklin river. And a lot of the early critical people in green like Bob Brown, Christine they were part this protest movement. They went out to found the Australian greens from that movement. The greens started out very much in Tasmania now their major presence is really here Melbourne Victoria. But they do have some popularity elsewhere in Australia. Their big wins. They were instrumental in helping to bring about the curb pros that was broaden by the Gillard government in 2010. So they are like a major force in that movement. They were deeply involved so that legislation could not could not have passed because it was a minor government at the time, could not have passed without the greens support and because it was a signature policy that the greens supported and managed to get behind it as well. That was a big win but of course, that curb an pros was repealed. Their other major achievements are getting a member in the House of Representatives in the federal parliament so that is Adam bent who sits in the city of Melbourne. so that the first time green member has been in the house of representative but they have members in the senate for 20 or 30 years but their main ongoing achievement keep environmental issues front and center in political debate. There never going to have enough support to be a main party but that’s not their job.as a minor party their job is to keep these issues within the debate and to work with whatever party happen to be in the government to try and maximize good outcomes for the environment. Speaking about people being aware of environment, do you think the great nature of this land is somehow influence people to be aware of it? I think so there was, in leading up to, 2010 there was millennial drought is Australia, and some did not rank for over ten years. And that coincided with that burden of growing of climate change as a problem because all of the prediction point of what’s going to happen to drying trend more hot days, greater bushfires and that kind of thing. And then in 2010 and 2011 there was really significant summer, and lots of flooding and that which in itself was related to climate change and climate awareness started to deep a little bit. But now I think that is starting to pick up again because of the evidence of extreme weather events in Australia and elsewhere is becoming really obvious. But Australia as a continent already before climate change had a very challenging geography, challenging weather patterns in a lot of places it’s a very difficult place to live, difficult place to grow food, there is no a lot of water that’s quite a forbidding environment and climate change comes in and makes that difficult environment even more difficult. People understand this difficulty of living on this land that is the theme of Australian history and now is turbo charged. Despite the public, what do you think the authority attitude to our environment? The current federal government, national party, liberal parties are very poor. the liberal part in particular has very close links to the mining industry they have a lot of people who are ideologically resistance to climate action because they see it as too much government interventions or restrictive trade through environmental regulations the typical right wing objections to environment policy, so their record is really quite poor on environmental issues, the labor party when they are in power they tend to be a little bit better but they track because one of their support bases is working class people who work in manufacturing sector and in the mining industry as well, so they get support from people who livelihood depend on industries that are quite high polluting so in a sense they are waged between wanting to do good things for the environment and also speaking to these core support base and supporting people who in these polluting sectors. The greens we know are better the other fringe parties on the right wing of this spectrum they are climate deniers and they are completely useless on environmental issues. So it depends the way you are in the spectrum but I suspect even