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Damocles Sword hangs over universities

Robert Simms 4 May 2016

The Australian Greens have called out the Liberal party for its smoke-and-mirrors approach to higher education after last night's budget announcement revealed plans to cut 20 per cent of funding from the university sector in the 2017 forward estimates and beyond.

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Federal Government Abandons Gonski for Class Warfare

Nick McKim 1 May 2016

The Federal government has today confirmed its abandonment of full Gonski funding, Greens spokesperson for Schools Nick McKim says.

“Today’s announcement of funding for ‘high-performing’ schools will redirect resources to the top, and risks reigniting the funding battle between public and private schools,” Senator McKim said.

"It will also work against States, Territories and schools with more disadvantaged students."

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Drop the deregulation – there is a fairer option

Robert Simms 27 Apr 2016

Australian Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Robert Simms has urged the government to drop its plan to deregulate university fees, which would burden students with massive debts when they graduate.

"The Greens are proposing a reduction in student debt by lowering HELP fees by 20 per cent, which would be paid for by maintaining the deficit levy. There is a fairer alternative that delivers top-class university education to young Australians, paid for by the people who can best afford it," Senator Robert Simms said.

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Greens proposal reduces student debt burden

Robert Simms 26 Apr 2016

Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Robert Simms has revealed the Greens plan to reduce HELP debts by 20 per cent and re-instate student start-up scholarships.

"We're constantly hearing the argument from the government that students need to carry the burden for their chronic under-funding of the university sector, but this is simply untrue and unfair. Students shouldn't be seen as cash cows. Investment in higher education is in the public good," Senator Simms said.

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New PBO costings reveal $1.2 billion cost of uni deregulation plan

Robert Simms 20 Apr 2016

The Greens are calling on the Government to dump its deregulation agenda after new PBO costings released today exposed the reform's $1.2 billion price-tag.

"The Greens have been arguing for years that deregulation is a false economy. Today, we have further evidence that this is the case. Indeed by 2025-26 it will cost taxpayers $1.2 billion," Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Robert Simms said.

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Government creating ticking debt time bomb: Greens

Robert Simms 8 Apr 2016

Australian Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Robert Simms says PBO costings reveal the Government's deregulation agenda is a ticking debt time bomb.

"It's obvious the Government's deregulation plan that would see massive increases in the cost of university degrees will result in higher student debts. The Parliamentary Budget Office report referenced in The Age today showed on average, a basic three-year degree would see students graduating with $50,500 HECS/HELP debts if this deregulation agenda is not abandoned," Senator Simms said.

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Don’t punish students for poor government decisions: Greens

Robert Simms 6 Apr 2016

The Australian Greens are urging the government to drop its deregulation agenda that seeks to punish students by hiking up the cost of university course fees.

"Students shouldn't be penalised for poor policy decisions by the Liberal and Labor parties which have led to the government writing off billions of taxpayer dollars due to bad debts associated with the for-profit VET sector," Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Robert Simms said.

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Childcare package to leave hundreds of thousands worse off, needs work: Greens

The government's childcare package will result in hundreds of thousands of families being worse off and will need to be amended, the Australian Greens have said.

"This package doesn't do what the government said it would and will, instead, leave hundreds of thousands of families worse off," the Greens' early childhood education and care spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

"Far from helping new mothers re-enter the workforce, the government's strict activity test will make it harder for casual workers and those with irregular hours to access care.

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