Tony Abbott cancels visit to university amid security fears

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has cancelled a visit to Melbourne's Deakin University amid safety fears as students protest against cuts in his government's first budget.

Mr Abbott and Education Minister Christopher Pyne were cancelled the visit originally planned for today due to nation-wide protests against cuts to government funding for courses and the deregulation of fees.

Mr Pyne told ABC TV last night that advice from the Australian Federal Police had raised safety concerns "particularly for innocent bystanders".

He said Mr Abbott's office had cancelled the trip so students could continue their studies "unmolested by the Socialist Alternative, which seem quite intent on shutting down democracy in Australia".

The protests were planned for Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra today, against a cut of about 20% to public funding for university courses and deregulation.

A statement from the National Union of Students said the group "unequivocally rejects" the government's agenda, revealed in the budget, urging students to attend protests to "Tell Abbott and Pyne: Hands off our education".

The changes to higher education will, however, need to pass the Senate outside of the normal budget bills process, and with The Greens, Clive Palmer and Labor opposing the cuts, the government seems unlikely to pass them at this stage.

Topics:  editors picks federal budget 2014 tony abbott

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Kilcoy gets a run at history

HONOURED: Somerset's Matthew Heck will carry the Queens Baton through Kilcoy next Tuesday.

Queen's Baton Relay celebrations to hit town next week.

Rain gives a boost to prices

ON THE RISE: Recent rain in the state is driving demand for cattle.

Cattle prices recover from last year's fall

Have you seen the car connected to a Laidley robbery?

Police are appealing for information on a break and enter of the QN Hotel in Laidley.

If you know anything contact police or Crime Stoppers.

Local Partners