The debate is still going on. The subject is 'student unions should be compulsory or not'. Now, students pay a little amount of their fees to student union (whether they use a service or not!).
Student unions offer certain kind of services to the students in need. Student unions are more powerful; sometimes they get into a legal battle against the University itself for students rights.
The John Howard's government is proposing a system of 'User Pays' – arguing student unions should not be compulsory (a student may pay to use some service). Students may be happy in the short run. But, without a compulsory service fee, a student union would not exist in the first place. There were nationwide debates; protests and opinion polls are going on.
Last week, our university opinion poll results were released in which 85% of the students supported compulsory student union fee (they are ready to pay a small fee in order to get some big help from the student unions!).
Let us see what happens (John Howard's party enjoys the majority in the parliament!).