Business

Universities fear freeze on grants

THE university sector has hit out at "ever-diminishing budget certainty" and fears a Commonwealth freeze on grants for higher education in the lead-up to the Federal Government's Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

Higher education group Universities Australia voiced its concerns about the sector's ability to plan and invest, on Wednesday, with doubt plaguing the voracity of the Federal Government's forward estimates.

Universities Australia chief executive Belinda Robinson said a "short-term, stop-go approach to funding and public investment" was becoming an increasingly alarming feature of the modern budget process.

As the government continues to look for savings, in the lead-up to the release of the MYEFO, Ms Robinson said the stop-go approach was also "seriously eroding confidence in the policy-making process".

"Clearly, universities are worried about this particular MYEFO process, but there is a deeper issue around the recent and concerning trend towards ever diminishing budget certainty," she said.

"Unfortunately, forward estimates are becoming progressively meaningless and funding predictability a thing of the past."

Ms Robinson, as CEO of UA, represents 39 Australian universities.

As part of the traditional budget process, lobbyists and interest groups usually get one chance to pitch their ideas for funding allocation to the government, early each calendar, in the lead-up to budget negotiations.

But Ms Robinson said this practice was now changing, putting everything up for grabs not just during budget submission periods, but also every six months through the MYEFO.

"Universities, like the rest of the economy, understand that public budgets are tight." she said.

"Surely though, it is the responsibility of governments to plan for the longer term and ensure a greater level of budget equilibrium can be achieved."

Ms Robinson said universities needed long lead times for budgets, to ensure higher education centres had certainty for future investments.

During Senate estimates this week, numerous budgetary freezes were revealed across many sectors, including a $150 million "pause" on Cooperative Research Centres revealed on Wednesday.

"Unfortunately, no matter the outcome from MYEFO, the freeze is already causing damage as universities move to backtrack on recruitment and investment commitments that they can no longer afford," Ms Robinson said.

"By freezing grants, and having the spectre of entire programs being cut, the government is sending the worrying message that you cannot trust its announcements to deliver what is promised."

Response was sought from the Treasurer's office, but has not yet been received. 

Topics:  federal government grants univeristy



Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

A CITY drenched in culture, Brisbane is again flaunting an arts and culture events calendar fit for a queen.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Date nights under $50

Nothing is more romantic than a picnic with a cracking view.

NOT every date has to cost you a bomb.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Six reasons to get to Brisbane this Autumn

The Brisbane Powerhouse has free comedy on Friday nights.

AUTUMN has to be up there with one of the best seasons of the year.

The best things to do in Brisbane are FREE. Yes, FREE

Mt Coot-tha is a seriously gorgeous way to start your day.

HEADING to the big smoke doesn’t have to come with a big price tag.

McCulkin murder trial: Jury urged to believe witnesses

Vicki Marie McCulkin, who, with her mother Barbara McCulkin and sister Barbara Leanne McCulkin, disappeared from their Highgate Hill home in January 1974.

Mr O'Dempsey is facing murder charges in relation to family's death.

WIRAC pool to shut in June

WIRAC Pool will shut for a week in June for maintenance.

Other parts of the centre will remain open during the period

Helicopters to inspect electricity network

Powerlink Queensland will patrol Central Queensland skies in September and October.Photo Contributed

Choppers flying high to check regional electricity network

Local Partners

Hervey Bays to star in international horror flick

A great white thriller that had scenes filmed on the Fraser Coast has been picked up by a major US movie studio.

Cher, 71, and Celine Dion wow world at Billboard Awards

“I’m 71 yesterday and I can do a five-minute plank, OK.”

Judah's return to The Voice stage is a knockout

Judah Kelly performs during his knockout round on The Voice.

QUEENSLAND singer nails Adele hit.

Wentworth star Daniielle Alexis: "I was born a boy"

Wentworth star Daniielle Alexis has revealed she was born a boy

Dwayne Johnson, Tom Hanks announce White House bid on SNL

Dwayne Johnson is “officially” running for president in 2020

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

The Voice: Kelly Rowland stunned by singing trio’s demands

We feel your pain, Kelly.

Trio refused to sing anything but Gospel songs

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

Deputy Premier makes massive call on controversial sand mine

Aerial view of the proposed Forest Glen sand mine.

BREAKING: State Government makes huge call on Coast sand mine plans

Residents warned as scammers rip off $60k in super

Police are warning people to be aware of a sophisticated telephone scam.

Superannuation, cash targeted by sophisticated scammers

How your body corp could ban pets, turf you from your home

DOG'S LIFE: Lyn Henderson and Tawny love life in their highrise.

Laws to ban dogs/smokers and make it easy to bulldoze units

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!