Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters is calling on the Morrison Government to immediately provide a lifeline to the university sector, following news of further redundancies at La Trobe University.
A further 96 staff at La Trobe University workers have taken voluntary redundancies in the latest round of cuts.
“Without support from the federal government, 2021 is shaping up to be just as bad as 2020 for the university sector.”
More than 17,000 university workers have lost their jobs since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with more cuts expected this year.
The first round of volunteer redundancies in 2020 saw 239 La Trobe staff lose their jobs, including 25 from Bendigo.
“It’s terrible to be losing so many higher education jobs across Bendigo and Australia.” Chesters said.
“Other local businesses and NFP organisations can access JobKeeper and as a result, have kept their workers employed.
“This is the Liberal Government’s fault. At every turn, they have actively excluded universities from accessing JobKeeper and this is the result.
“I can imagine the anxiety remaining staff at La Trobe are facing as thy enter another uncertain year - they deserve better.
“On the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic we will need universities like Bendigo’s LaTrobe to train the skilled workers we need to lead our local economy and country out of this economic crisis.
“If the Morrison Government offered a lifeline to the university sector, these cuts could have been avoided and local jobs could have been saved.
“Instead, this government locked universities out of the JobKeeper scheme and introduced the higher education bill, making it harder and more expensive for students to go to university. It’s outrageous,” Chesters said.
“We cannot afford any more job cuts at the La Trobe Bendigo campus.”