Universities should be the place where ideas and theories are continually challenged and tested, but unfortunately free speech and open debate are under serious threat in our universities. In a recent Free Speech on Campus Audit undertaken by the Institute of Public Affairs only one Australian university out of 42 received a high ranking regarding freedom of speech.
The battle of ideas is under threat across the nation and it is undermining our democracy. The growing self-censorship and chilling of public debate around important issues such as redefining marriage, climate alarmism, cultural based violence and religious extremism, makes it even more important for universities to promote broad debate.
There appears to be a clear case for the withholding of federal funding for universities until they restore a fundamental foundation for what actually makes a university, the ability to test and challenge all ideas without fear of being shut down or ostracized.
If elected on Saturday, I will seek to introduce legislation that withholds a portion of public funding from universities that restrict freedom of speech until they have clearly demonstrated they value that freedom and have restored it.
Rod McGarvie, Senate Candidate Family First