The chaos and division of the Turnbull Liberal Government was once again on display today with the Coalition splitting on the issue of the proper funding of student services in universities around the country.
The motion moved by Senators Madigan, Day, Lleynholm and Wang sought to strip more support away from Australian students by seeking to have the Student Services and Amenities Fee levied only with the support of the majority of students at each university campus, in a mandatory ballot conducted once an academic year.
When it came to the vote, the Senate was treated to the spectacle of Turnbull Government Senators splitting three ways.
Liberal party Senators rushed out of the chamber to avoid voting at all, whilst the National Party Senators voted with Labor against the resolution. Meanwhile, Senators Bernardi and Abetz defied the Liberal Whip and voted for the motion.
The resolution failed, only attracting six votes.
This resolution was only ever a device by the reactionary right to destroy student associations on university campuses. These associations deliver much needed student services including supporting campus culture and students through independent advocacy.
The Student Services and Amenities Fee supports hundreds of jobs on campuses around the country and is especially important for regional and rural universities and the communities in which they reside.
Malcolm Turnbull must today rule out any moves by his government to attack student representation and student services at our universities.