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Greens welcome Universities Australia u-turn on deregulation

Lee Rhiannon 1 Jun 2015

The Australian Greens have welcomed Universities Australia's call for increased government funding to the higher education sector, and applaud their decision to withdraw support for the Abbott government's policy of university fee deregulation.

"With Universities Australia withdrawing support for deregulation, the Abbott government should acknowledge it has lost its main support base and drop its proposals to increase fees and cut public funding" said Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon.

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Abbott govt in $65million blackmail to South Australia over vocational education

Penny Wright 29 May 2015

The Australian Greens say the Abbott government has again sided with private interests over public education in its decision to withhold money from South Australia because of the states' new policy of prioritising TAFE in the provision of training.

Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon today said: "The South Australian government has started to realise the significant problems associated with the current national partnership agreement on training and have moved to prioritise the public sector, something the federal government should take on board.

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Pyne's copy and paste budget fails students, staff and the community

Lee Rhiannon 13 May 2015

The Australian Greens have said the Abbott government has learned nothing from its two failed attempts at deregulating Australian universities, slashing billions from higher education and pouring public money into the coffers of private higher education companies, with all these measures back in the 2015 budget.

"Universities are again set to receive a 20 per cent cut while the Abbott government has restated its commitment to handing out hundreds of millions of dollars to private, for-profit education companies," said Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon.

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Abbott's Budget has no vision for SA

The 2015 Budget has no vision for the future of South Australia, say SA's Australian Greens Senators.

Senator Penny Wright said the Government was continuing to protect big business at the expense of everyday South Australians.

"The Abbott Government has absolutely no vision for South Australia's future. Rather than finding new sources of revenue from the big end of town, this Budget cuts one vital service to fund another," Senator Wright said.

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NSW Supreme Court: Senator Rhiannon joins protest against Macquarie Uni attack on student group

Lee Rhiannon 7 May 2015


WHAT: Australian Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon will be speaking at the two day long solidarity action with Macquarie University Postgraduate Association (MUPRA) student representatives.

Seven MUPRA representatives have been taken to court by Macquarie University in a bid to dissolve its postgraduate student association.

WHEN: 1pm TOMORROW Friday 8 may 2015

WHERE: Supreme Court of NSW, 184 Phillip St Sydney

Senator Rhiannon said:

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Vice Chancellors need to speak out against Pyne's backdoor uni cuts

Lee Rhiannon 4 May 2015

Commenting on reports that the Abbott government will bank $3 billion in higher-education cuts in next week's budget, despite the relevant legislation being defeated, (The Aust:, Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said:

"The Group of Eight Vice Chancellors who were the Abbott government's most vocal supporters of deregulation, need to start speaking out against this latest attack on universities which will strip away $3 billion dollars, despite these cuts being rejected by Parliament.

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New Tax Office data shows growing student debt burden in Australia

Lee Rhiannon 2 May 2015

The Australian Greens say fresh data released by the Australian Taxation Office (SMH: shows student debt is increasing while wage growth remains flat, resulting in students graduating with greater debt and taking longer to pay it off.

"Newly release ATO data shows that student debt more than doubled from $12 billion in 2005-06 to $29 billion in 2012-13," Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon said.

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Time for federal government to go back to the drawing board on VET funding

Lee Rhiannon 23 Apr 2015

Australian Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon is calling on the federal government to immediately review the COAG agreement on vocational education and training funding that has seen hundreds of millions of dollars flow to private, for-profit providers.

"Yesterday the NSW Coalition government expressed its scepticism towards the current model of funding contestability, joining a raft of state governments across Australia in criticising the current approach," Senator Rhiannon said.

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Greens call on Pyne to reject further unfair HECS changes in federal Budget

Lee Rhiannon 15 Apr 2015

Australian Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon has today called on Education Minister Christopher Pyne to rule out regressive and unfair changes to the HECS repayment system in this year’s federal Budget.

“Suggestions from some economists that the repayment threshold for HECS debt should be decreased from $53,000 to $10,000 ( should be immediately rejected by Minister Pyne,” Senator Rhiannon said. 

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OECD anti-bribery report strengthens Greens call for expanded whistleblower protection to private sector

The latest OECD assessment of anti-bribery measures that reveals weak protection for whistleblowers in Australia strengthens the Greens call for employees in the private sector to have the same protection as those in the public sector, Australian Greens spokesperson for democracy Senator Lee Rhiannon said.

“In December last year the Greens called for whistleblower protection to be extended to employees working for private higher education companies in receipt of millions of dollars of government funding,” Senator Rhiannon said.

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