Student ‘tax’ costs a lot in rum and noodles


The Senate heard on Thursday that a compulsory university fee costs the same as 4.7 litres of Bundaberg Rum.

Queensland Liberal Senator James McGrath is continuing his push to abolish the university student services and amenities fee (SSAF), saying the $303 impost is a lot of money.

Senator McGrath told Parliament on Thursday it's a compulsory tax, levied on more than one million university students annually.

He called it a “Labor-Greens Trojan Horse” to impose compulsory student unionism.

“$303 may not seem like much money to politicians in this building, but it is for students,” he said.

“For example, with $303 a typical university student could buy two weeks of rent; 505 packets of noodles; 3060 pens; 161 cans of Red Bull energy drink; 121 stubbies of beer; or 4.7 litres of Bundaberg Rum.

“The SSAF is unfair, unpopular, undemocratic, unnecessary, burdensome, politicised and wasteful.

“It is unfair because it is levied on all students, regardless of their need, willingness and ability to access the services and activities they are paying for.”

Debate was adjourned.

The Nationals and Labor are opposed to Senator McGrath's private member's bill.


  1. Typical low-life Liberal. Anything to do with people getting together to make their lives better is put down by the Liberals. But it’s okay for businesses to get together to drive wages down and attack penalty rates.

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