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Sydney Uni reputation damaged by coal mine funding

Sydney University's $1 million investment in the controversial Whitehaven coalmine will mean enormous damage for the institution's reputation unless they move quickly to withdraw the investment and apologise to impacted Aboriginal elders and locals, the Greens have warned.

Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said, "Sydney University Vice Chancellor Michael Spence has a responsibility to immediately withdraw the investment in Whitehaven to end support for this destructive coalmine and help protect the name of one of Australia's leading education centres.

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Committee: Trade Support Loans Bill 2014

Lee Rhiannon 14 Jul 2014

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (20:41): By leave—I move Greens amendments (1) and (2), and (4) to (7) and request (3) on sheet 7497.

As we are just coming back to this debate, it is worth, now we are in committee stage, reminding ourselves this is another attempt by the government to shift the costs, the funding needs of our public education sector onto students—in this case, onto apprentices. It is about the government saving itself a lot of money.

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Speech: Higher Education

Lee Rhiannon 14 Jul 2014

It is fascinating to listen to how Senator Ryan and Senator Carr see higher education. Senator Carr gave Senator Ryan something pretty easy to come in on. Senator Ryan documented Labor's position in April and May 2013. Unfortunately Labor ditched that position when they went into opposition, which was certainly very shameful. Let's look at what Senator Ryan had to say. Senator Ryan did what so many Liberals do these days; he used Prime Minister Menzies as cover when he said, 'Yes, we care about universities, we care about people.'

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Speech: Tools For Your Trade

Lee Rhiannon 14 Jul 2014

The government is on the war path against a fair, accessible, higher education system and Tools For Your Trade is the latest program in the gun sites of this out-of-touch government. Tools For Your Trade started in 2010, providing assistance to most apprentices in the form of cash payments of $5,500 to help with training, purchasing tools and other costs. This is the reality, or rather was the reality as Tools For Your Trade finished on 1 July 2014.

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Poll: Australians oppose Abbott's elitist agenda for higher education

Lee Rhiannon 2 Jul 2014

Independent polling commissioned by the Greens confirms that the Coalition Government's elitist changes to higher education are opposed by an overwhelming majority of the community.

“People of all ages from across Australia in regional and metropolitan areas know how damaging these changes are to students and to Australia’s economy,” said Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon.

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Coalition's university cuts start biting - La Trobe to sack 15% of its workforce

Lee Rhiannon 24 Jun 2014

Australian Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon has called on Education Minister Christopher Pyne to scrap his plans to deregulate the university sector following announcements of huge staff and course cuts at La Trobe University.

"Funding cuts under both Labor and Coalition governments have bled universities dry," Senator Rhiannon said.

"The $65 million cuts announced at La Trobe will see 350 staff fired and the existing five faculties merged into two colleges.

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