Canberra

July 16, 1999

The Australian government has lost its fight to make membership of university student associations voluntary.

Although legislation banning compulsory collection of so-called student union fees was rushed through the house of representatives last month, the bill was not debated in the senate after one of the two independent senators who then held the balance of power said he would not support it. With a new team of senators taking their seats, the small Australian Democrats party now holds the balance, and, with the Labor opposition, has vowed to reject the legislation.

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