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Australian university refuses to back down over shoplifting how-to guide as students feel the pinch

Charisa Bossinakis

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| Last updated 

Australian university refuses to back down over shoplifting how-to guide as students feel the pinch

The University of Queensland's student paper has defended publishing an article informing students how to shoplift safely.

Nine News reports that student magazine Semper Floreat has come under fire for including a ‘how-to guide’ on stealing wisely.

In the piece titled ‘The Subtle Art of Shoplifting’, an anonymous writer details how the ‘working class’ should target ‘large corporations’ while partaking in a little ‘frifting’ (free shopping).

Some of these tips and tricks advise frifters not to shop close to their home, take off metal tags and head to a self-serve machine closest to the staff monitoring them.

Credit: Erin Deleon / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: Erin Deleon / Alamy Stock Photo

Following the article's release, Queensland Education Minister Grace Grace slammed it, accusing the piece of going down the ‘wrong path’.

"They should be withdrawing that," she added.

Shadow Education Minister Christian Rowan also agreed, saying: “We simply can't have a situation where people are encouraged to commit criminal offences, otherwise we end up in a situation of anarchy.

However, editor-in-chief William Kugelman of the magazine has hit back at critics, citing a ‘class war', which has positioned many students barely above the poverty line.

He wrote: "We stand by our decision to publish the hypothetical safe shoplifting guide, entitled The ‘Subtle Art of Shoplifting’ as helping hard-done-by students in a world where cost of living is on the rise.”

Credit: SOPA Images Limited / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: SOPA Images Limited / Alamy Stock Photo

The magazine also included a response from the anonymous author, which read in part: “We’re in a housing crisis, experiencing the highest cost of living and lowest wages rates since WW2, and yet the wealthiest keep get wealthier – forcing people to live in tents, consolidating their monopolies on housing, starving people on stagnant levels of centrelink support and inadequate minimum wages. 

“People are struggling to make ends meet. Students incur tens of thousands of dollars of debt, and many are living in poverty as a result. This is a class war, and the working class is under attack. We have no other option than to stand up, and fight back.”

According to a new survey conducted by Finder, one in five Australians admitted to stealing in the past year as the cost of living crisis worsened.

The survey, which interviewed 1010 respondents, also found that two per cent of Aussies have dined and dashed in the past year. Meanwhile, six per cent have driven away without paying for petrol.

Featured Image Credit: Marek Slusarczyk / Alamy Stock Photo. Anjuman Sharma / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: News, Australia, Education

Charisa Bossinakis
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