The Australian Senate has outlawed, by a narrow margin, compulsory membership of student associations. This has long been on the agenda of the Howard government.
Of course many universities will get round this by levying students and then directly funding the student unions. They will however, not be able to pass themselves off as legitimate student representatives and their mandate will be weak.
Howard I believe, understands that student unions are a major power base and training ground for the political left. He knows that if you want to change the political culture of a country, you must deprive the socialists of their illegitimate power bases and funding sources. Compulsory student unions funded by student levies are an ideal playground for the socialists and a blatant breach of the right of free association. Abolishing them should be a high priority for any centre-right government
Many of the current government and its appendages, cut their teeth in student politics: Steve Maharey, Marian Hobbs, Paul Swain, Peter Dunne, David Benson-Pope, Darren Hughes, Nandor Tanczos, Sue Kedgely to name a few.
Power, influence and large amounts of other peoples money attract socialists and the corrupt like shit attracts flies. You can keep going back and spraying the flies but the long term answer is to get rid of the shit.
Any National/ACT government should immediately abolish the clause allowing state tertiary institutions to force students to join and finance student unions. It will be a victory for freedom of association and a step to improving the political culture of this country.