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Speech: The Pandemic's Impact

I rise to speak on the pandemic, its impact and our future. The coronavirus pandemic is having some of its greatest impacts on people on low incomes, temporary migrants and women. It has exposed the vast gap between the wealthiest in our society and people barely making ends meet. It has exposed the crushing weight of inequality that many in our community bear.

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Motion: Higher Education

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

   (i) successive governments have cut university funding, leaving the sector reliant on international student fees to fund education and research,

   (ii) the Covid-19 crisis has highlighted how vulnerable the government has left our tertiary education system, and

   (iii) the Government has allowed casualisation and insecure work to run rampant at universities, to the detriment of students' learning, staff well-being and research excellence; and

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Greens Move To Allow Universities Access To JobKeeper

The Greens have lodged a motion in the Senate to disallow parts of the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Amendment Rules (No. 2) 2020 that have the effect of excluding universities from accessing the JobKeeper wage subsidy.

The motion would only disallow provisions of the rules regarding JobKeeper eligibility for higher education providers, which extend the turnover calculation period from one to six months for universities and mandate that government funding be included in the calculations.

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Childcare Review: Minister Must Ensure Equity And Make Childcare Free For Good

Australian Greens Education spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has said the Education Minister must rule out the reintroduction of childcare fees in his current review of the COVID-19 childcare package.

Senator Faruqi said:

“Free and universal childcare has been a huge step forward for access to childcare. It should be made permanent.

“The Minister should be looking at how to ensure ongoing access to free childcare, and options for expanded public operation of childcare.

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Government Bending Over Backwards To Deny Higher Ed Support

Australian Greens Education spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has labelled the government’s latest change to JobKeeper eligibility rules farcical and sinister as it bends over backwards to deny wage subsidy support to Australian universities.

In the latest twist, Sydney Uni has been denied access to the scheme despite having believed to have qualified due to a significant drop in revenue, and having paid staff additional money in anticipation of receiving government support.

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No Cash Bribes For Cashed-Up Private Schools

Australian Greens Senator and Education spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi has rejected the government’s bizarre cash incentives for private schools to re-open during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senator Faruqi said:

“This is yet another special deal for private schools. Ninety-nine percent of public schools are underfunded as they work to support kids and families through this pandemic. Their students need urgent investment, not the 99% of private schools that are overfunded.

“What the Minister proposes is a bizarre approach to both school funding and public health.

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Greens welcome Jay Weatherill's calls for a rethink on childcare

Adam Bandt 24 Apr 2020

The Greens have today welcomed a call from former Labor Premier, Jay Weatherill, for a rethink of how childcare is run, which aligns with Greens calls for free childcare run on a not-for-profit basis.

While saying that his ideas required more discussion, and while not backing his call for the Commonwealth to vacate the field and hand childcare over to the states, Greens Leader Adam Bandt and Greens education spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi said that it was time to start treating childcare as an essential public service.

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S.A. International Student Package should shake the Morrison Govt into action

Australian Greens Senator and Education spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi has welcomed the South Australian government’s commitment to support international students through a $13.8 million package. Senator Faruqi has characterised it as a wake-up call and a kick in the backside of the Morrison Government, which continues to deny international students any income support.

Senator Faruqi said:

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Save Education Jobs: Government Must Back Higher Ed Through New Funding Package

Australian Greens Senator and Education spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi has said that the government must provide a new funding package for higher education to save the jobs of thousands of staff.

Senator Faruqi said:

“Across the country, universities are drawing up plans to cut staff and wages. From PhD students to career academics and professional staff, higher education workers will lose their jobs as a direct result of the government’s failure to provide support during the COVID-19 crisis.

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