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Time for Turnbull to stand for something and protect LGBTI youth

The Australian Greens are calling for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to stand up to the conservative backbenchers trying to derail and discredit the vital work of the Safe Schools Coalition.

"The lives of LGBTI young people are on the line here. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull needs to draw a line in the sand - he can't throw LGBTI kids under the bus just to ensure he maintains power," Greens sexuality spokesperson Senator Robert Simms said.

"It's time for Mr Turnbull to stand for something and protecting LGBTI young people is a good first step."

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The Government must ignore conservative tantrums on Safe Schools: Greens

The backbench MPs opposed to the Safe Schools Coalition must drop their attack on the program following the Government's review and move on, say the Greens.

"This review was pointless to begin with and now we've got coalition MPs throwing a tantrum because they don't like the outcome. They need to put the safety and well-being of LGBTI young people ahead of their political ideology and stop their homophobic crusade against Safe Schools," Greens sexuality spokesperson Senator Robert Simms said.

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University students need extra support, not higher fees

Robert Simms 11 Mar 2016

The Greens say the government must abandon its plans to increase university student fees and instead focus on building a sector that provides quality and affordable education, following Education Minister Simon Birmingham's speech to Universities Australia.

"Increasing university fees will saddle students with a lifetime of debt. Australians don't want to see a US-style education system where access to university is based on your bank balance," Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Robert Simms.

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More funding, security needed for universities: Greens

Robert Simms 9 Mar 2016

The Australian Greens are calling on Education Minister Simon Birmingham to commit to providing universities with adequate funding following a plea from Universities Australia for direction from the government.

"We've heard today that the university sector is on tenterhooks waiting for the government's next move on university funding. The lack of direction being provided by this government leaves both universities and students in a state of flux, uncertain of what the future holds," Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Robert Simms said.

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VET reforms failing students shows need to overhaul for-profit sector

Robert Simms 8 Mar 2016

The Australian Greens are calling on more support for VET students and increased funding for TAFE amid the continuing failures of the for-profit VET sector.

"The news that up to 24,000 students could be forced by the Phoenix Institute to pay $300 million in course fee loans for an education they won't receive highlights the deficiency in the VET reforms passed by parliament late last year. For as long as we have private for-profit providers receiving public funds, students are at risk of exploitation," Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Robert Simms said.

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70,000+ agree: Safe Schools program must continue

The Australian Greens will tonight table two petitions - one from the Greens and one from international LGBTIQ advocacy group All Out - totaling more 70,000 signatures supporting Safe Schools. The petitions were launched in response to Senator Cory Bernardi's petition of 9499 that lead to the Prime Minister calling for an investigation into the program.

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Simms in the Senate Update - March 2016

This edition of Simms in the Senate covers the Greens' campaign to make schools safe for LGBTI students, why there should be no nuclear waste dump in South Australia, the inquiry into BP's exploration of the Great Australian Bight, green cars being key to SA's economic future, a Valentine's Day push for marriage equality legislation, how to take the 2016 Student Survey, and more.

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Question – Education Funding

Adam Bandt 2 Mar 2016

Mr BANDT

My question is to the Prime Minister. The Safe Schools program has been stopping bullying around the country, and has helped many young people feel that they fit in. Prime Minister, is your commitment to socially progressive values so skin deep that you will put young people's welfare at risk and throw a successful antibullying campaign under a bus just because the bigots in the conservative brotherhood tell you to?

Mr Perrett interjecting—

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Greens continue commitment to fairer schools funding

The Greens have continued their unwavering support for fairer schools funding with the announcement of a $3.5 billion needs-based package to bring about sector blind, equitable funding for all our schools.

“We have never wavered from including years five and six of the National Education Reform Agreement in our costed election platform,” Greens Leader Richard Di Natale said.

“We've had this policy costed at $3.5bn above the Coalition’s schools budget, which has slashed years five and six of NERA.”

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