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Estimate adventures with a cameo Yes Minister appearance

When I arrived in the federal parliament back in July 2011 I was told that the Estimates process was probably the best thing about the Senate. “Democracy in action” is how some describe this exhaustive process whereby Senators can ask endless questions of Ministers and senior public servants.

Having just finished my second week of Estimate hearings I do think they are excellent, although frustrating at times. Some Ministers and their bureaucrats are adept at side stepping the questions we pose. But then the challenge is with us to ask the right questions.

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Legislation: Education Services for Overseas Students

Lee Rhiannon 29 Feb 2012

Committee Stage, Education Services for Overseas Students Legislation Amendment (Tuition Protection Service and Other Measures) Bill 2011, Education Services for Overseas Students (Registration Charges) Amendment (Tuition Protection Service) Bill 2011, Education Services for Overseas Students (TPS Levies) Bill 2011

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Govt must ensure HECS for vocational training not undermined by fee hikes

Lee Rhiannon 2 Feb 2012

The Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills Chris Evans must learn from the Victorian experience and actively monitor and rein in private vocational course providers that take advantage of new HECS-style loan arrangements to hike up fees, said Greens Senator and higher education spokesperson Lee Rhiannon.

“Whilst introducing HECS-style loans and government subsidised places will remove a barrier to entry for some students, the best way for the Gillard government to skill up the workforce is to reinvest in the TAFE system”, said Senator Rhiannon.

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