Experts from RMIT are available to talk to media today about a range of topics and issues relating to the 2018-19 Federal Budget.
Transport and infrastructure
Dr Ian Woodcock 0413 044 080 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Topics /research interests: transport, especially metropolitan transport, planning, urban design
"While funding for rail projects is welcome, it doesn’t go nearly far enough to meet the challenges facing Australia, especially the cities where most Australians live. Roads represent about 84 per cent of the transport project funding, far more should be going to rail where we are playing catch up for an advanced economy.
"A funding program for comprehensive, integrated transport planning is needed more than support for project-based business cases for politically-driven road projects.
"The ‘up to $5 billion’ for airport rail for Victoria comes with strings attached that may re-ignite the political differences that have stalled this link for several decades.’’
Dr Ian Woodcock convenes the Planning and Transport in City Regions Program in the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT and is an associate lecturer in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies. He has researched land use and transport integration for more than a decade. He is regularly asked to provide expert comment, particularly around Melbourne’s transport needs.
Dr Shane Duggan 0415 153 671 or email@example.com
Topics/research interests: higher education, senior secondary student funding and general learning and teaching initiatives
"The 2018 Budget offers a mixed message in regards to higher education and young people.
"On the one hand, it is pleasing that the government has endorsed the findings of the Independent Review into Regional, Rural and Remote Education, with significant additional degree places, and support for regional and remote young people.
"On the other, this budget makes it harder for young people who graduate their degrees by significantly lowering the HELP repayment rate to 1 per cent at $45,000 per annum.
"Paired with a lack of clear policy supporting young people’s transition to the digital economy, this budget risks leaving even more young people behind."
Dr Shane Duggan is a Vice-Chancellor’s post-doctoral fellow at the School of Education. Duggan’s research focuses on how young people understand, plan for and engage in higher education and work among changing local and global social, cultural and economic conditions. His research contributed to recent reform around higher education admissions policy in Australia. He has also actively advocated for change in Senior Secondary Certification and the Australian Tertiary Admissions Ranking (ATAR) through scholarly channels and expert media comment.
Law and order, social affairs policy
Dr Kathryn Daley 0412 168 361 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Topics/research interests: crime, youth crime, prisons, sexual abuse, substance abuse, drug testing, rehab, supervised injecting facilities, homelessness and welfare reform
"The budget shows a consistent and intentional persecution of highly disadvantaged groups, and those who seek to advocate for them.
"A reduction in the length of time incarcerated people can remain on disability pensions, an increase in the length of time migrants must wait before being eligible for welfare, freezing welfare payments for people with outstanding fines and allocating no money to resolve our record levels of homelessness will only exacerbate inequality.
"Cuts to the Human Rights Commission and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal will make it increasingly difficult for the groups affected by state injustice to access a source of appeal.
"Lastly, massive cuts to the ABC will make it more difficult for these stories to be told in a time where good journalism is critically needed."
Dr Kathryn Daley is a lecturer in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies. Daley has a particular research interest in how crime, drugs and disadvantage impact young people. She has written a book on youth and substance abuse and helps inform public debate through expert media comment.
For general media inquiries, contact the RMIT External Communications team on 0439 704 077 or email@example.com .