News National Who’s this firebrand?

Who’s this firebrand?

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Footage of Treasurer Joe Hockey protesting against university fees as a 22-year-old law student has been revealed.

The footage from 1987 shows the Treasurer at a student protest against the introduction of university fees by then prime minister Bob Hawke.

Just two weeks ago Hockey himself introduced strict reforms on student loans in his first budget.

In the video obtained by Fairfax media, a young Hockey is seen staunchly defending free education.

“We will continue to go out onto the streets and to protest, and actively encourage the public to support us in our campaign for free education,” says Hockey, who was the president of the Sydney University Student Representative Council.

Some education experts believe that the Treasurer’s budget could increase the cost of a degree to $120,000, according to a report by The Guardian.

Hockey also attacked the introduction of student fees in an article he wrote for University of Sydney newspaper Honi Soit.

“Such a policy is suicidal for student welfare. We will have no effective voice in our own fortune,” wrote the young Hockey, attacking the kind of deregulation his government has now proposed.

In a television interview last week, Hockey explained his student protesting days.

“We obviously were concerned about the fact we were paying fees upfront which no student has to do now,” he told Channel Ten.