ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
The keeper of Australia’s largest HECS debt says he too is a victim of indexation, telling The Advocate that he’d have a “fairly reasonable” balance had it not been for the greedy gouge the government takes each year.
Bruce Handmer of the French Quarter, has amassed a debt of $737,070.48 in his 35 years at university. He says he backs calls to put a freeze on indexation due to the cost of living crisis currently currently sweeping the country.
At 75-years-old, Bruce says his chances of clearing his HECS debt before he dies is getting slimmer by the day.
“I just want to get out there and find the perfect job and start paying back this debt,” said the French Quarter sharehouse dweller.
“At the moment, I’m a qualified doctor and lawyer. I am an engineer in the state of Queensland. I can fly a commercial airplane. In Tasmania, I am a high school PE teacher. At the moment, I’m studying to become a zookeeper. It’s my dream to be a zoo keeper at Taronga Zoo in Sydney. If I don’t get into their zoology programme, I will have to go back to study,”
“I am considering doing a PhD. Somewhere affordable like Bathurst CSU SuperTAFE. I already have a PhD from Bond, which is essentially worthless because it wasn’t done with a scholarship. You guys know what employers think about non-scholarship people at Bond. Nothing good,”
“But at the end of the day, I’m just another victim of indexation. I think it should be abolished. HECS itself should be abolished,”
“If anything, we should keep on ripping off international students and use that money to pay for Australians to go to university. It’s the Australian way.”
More to come.