BY DUNCAN MEERDING
& ALBY DALLAS
HOBART A public forum on health and education was attended by 50 people on July 2. Held at the Republic Bar, a popular left-wing pub, the meeting was organised by the Socialist Alliance.
The participants included members of the Socialist Alliance, activists from the local peace coalition and unionists.
Socialist Alliance activist Peter Baker, who is also involved in the Hobart Peace Coalition, said: "This budget allocates close to $16 billion to a military build-up, in line with the dictates of US foreign policy planning".
Australian Education Union speaker Mike Poate condemned government attacks on public education. "For every federal dollar spent on a public school student, $6 is spent on a private school student by the federal government", he explained.
Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Jocelynne Scutt said, "This is the suction effect, where the government is sucking the money out of the pockets of the poor".
During her speech, National Tertiary Education Union representative Jo Fox stated: "The Coalition government had increased HECS fees during their time in government by 125%, even before this last budget".