Inventor held back by student debt worries

A young inventor has admitted that one of his most promising ideas may never get off the ground because of concerns over his student finances.

Tim McBride was selected to be a student finalist at the Australian Design Awards last week for his wireless speaker gadget the 13th Man, the Age reported.

Mr McBride, a Sydney-based rugby union fan, invented the unit out of frustration at pubs that broadcast rugby league commentary throughout their premises.

His wireless device enables audio from a variety of television channels, allowing pub customers to tune into the game of their choice.

However, Mr McBride told the newspaper he was unlikely to take the prototype forward given his student debt concerns.

’’Just coming out of university with a HECS debt, it’s not an option,’’ he said.

’’I’d love to see it implemented but I can’t make that gamble. If it all fell over, I’d really be stitching myself up.’’

Meanwhile, speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald this week, Kate Frost, chief executive of the life skills charity YWCA NSW, suggested Australia’s young people should be encouraged to compare student finances and learn the value of "financial literacy" before attending

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