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Q&A: ‘Extreme vetting’ claims for post-Budget show

UNIVERSITY students have threatened to protest during filming of Q&A, amid claims they are not represented on this week's post-Budget show.

The National Union of Students is calling for protesters to gather outside the Gold Coast Arts Centre from 8pm on Monday, to coincide with filming of a special Budget debrief of the flagship ABC program.

The union claims students who hoped to be in the audience during the show had been "vetted" by the program.

In a statement, the union said: "ABC producers have implemented an extreme vetting process for audience participants, including stalking students' Facebook profiles, threatening phone calls to student activists, and collusion with police, to ensure that show's 'democracy' does not overstep what is palatable to Tony Jones."

Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham will be one of the panelists and he is expected to discuss the proposed changes to university fees flagged in last week's Budget.

The union says it approached the ABC to have a representative placed on the panel but they were refused a spot.

Instead, they claim, that spot went to Innes Willox from the CEO Australian Industry Group.

"NUS condemns the ABC for prioritising CEO's voices above the country's 1.3 million university students," the statement said.

"NUS calls on Q&A to do the right thing by giving a space on the panel to the National Union of Students."

Originally published as Q&A accused of 'extreme vetting'