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After 288,000 Australians demanded change, the government has reduced everyone’s HECS debts

Over the past two months, 288,000 people have signed my petition — one of the largest in Australian history — calling on the government to fix the broken HECS debt system.

Today, we won.

I thank the government for making substantial changes to the HECS system. HECS debts will now be indexed to whichever is lower of the Consumer Price Index and the Wage Price Index.

In addition, $3 billion worth of student debt will be wiped, benefiting the 3 million Australians with a HECS debt.

If you have an average HECS debt of $26,500, your debt will be cut by $1,200. If you have a $50,000 debt, it will be cut by $2,200.

Since I launched my petition, my office has been inundated with messages from people who’ve told me their HECS debt is the reason they can’t afford to buy a house or start a family.

Hundreds of thousands of Australians with HECS debts have worked hard to pay them off in recent years, only to see the size of their debts stay the same or — worse still — increase. It was a broken system. I’m glad the government has changed it.

There is a much bigger issue here: our younger generations aren’t just facing insurmountable HECS debts; they’re also facing a housing crisis, a climate crisis, and a cost-of-living crisis.

This isn’t just about HECS debts — it is about getting the government to fulfil its promise to the next generation.

I know people my age want the best for our young people. Yet we are at serious risk of becoming the first generation in history to leave the world worse off than we found it.

Fearless action on housing and the climate will give our children and grandchildren hope for the future again. In my first speech in Parliament, I asked young people to keep speaking. I told them that their voices are being heard.

Today, I hope that the young people of Australia feel heard.

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