History of Voluntary Student Unionism in Australia

  • Victorian Tertiary Education (Amendment) Act 1994

    Under the Tertiary Education (Amendment) Act 1994, the governing body of any Victorian post-secondary educational institution must not require any student to be a member of an organisation of students, or to pay a compulsory fee for membership of such an organisation.
  • David Kemp annouced plans for VSU legislation

    The Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs, the Hon. Dr David Kemp, announced the Government would introduce legislation in 1999 to ensure that university students have the right to choose whether they wish to join a student association and pay union fees.
  • Liberal party wins federal election.

    Howard announces intention to introduce voluntary student unionism but without a Senate majority, it does not pass.
  • Liberal party win federal election again.

    Howard government gains control of the Senate and restates intention to push for voluntary student unionism.
  • Brendan Nelson introduced the Higher Education Support Amendment (Abolition of Compulsory Up-front Student Union Fees) Bill 2005 before the Parliament

    The Bill's original form is opposed by Barnaby Joyce and does not pass in time for the 2006 academic year.
  • The Higher Education Support Amendment (Abolition of Compulsory Up-front Student Union Fees) Bill 2005 was passed in the Senate.

    It received Royal Assent 10 days later.
  • VSU legisation reintroduced.

    This time, it passes the Senate.
  • VSU legisation introduced.

    Australian universities face fines of $100 per student for compelling payment for any non-academic good or service.
  • Howard loses federal election.

    Kevin Rudd's Labor government wins the federal election.
  • Gillard government announces plans to revise legislation.

    Labor government plans to introduce legislation to allow universities to charge students a compulsory service fee of up to $250 a year to fund amenities such as sporting facilities, childcare and counselling.