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Abbott’s higher education cuts Bill defeated again – big win for the community

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 17 Mar 2015

Tonight the Australian Senate again voted down the Abbott government's higher education Bill.

The Bill was defeated by 34 votes to 30 votes. Green and Labor Senators were joined by Senators Lambie, Muir, Lazarus, Wang, and Xenophon to defeat the Bill.

The Australian Greens have congratulated the tens of thousands of students, families, teachers, parents and unions that took a stand against the Abbott government’s war against public universities.

“The defeat of the Abbott government Bill for the second time in four months is a tribute to community action. It sends a strong signal to this cruel, out of touch Abbott government. Their elitist dreams for Australia do not have the support of the Senate or the people,” Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon said.

“This major defeat for the government raises more questions about the Prime Minister's leadership. Education Minister Christopher Pyne has had his credibility and reputation seriously damaged.

“The Minister's scare tactics to intimidate crossbenchers have not worked.

“The debate about the future of higher education is not over. The Greens look forward to participating in broad ranging consultations with the higher education sector.

“The Greens are proud to have stood alongside the thousands of students and staff who have been campaigning for the past year against this damaging legislation.

“If the Coalition government was not so arrogant and disconnected from reality, they would have realised that this Bill would have destroyed public higher education in Australia and consigned students to huge debts that would have taken decades to pay off.

“The Greens understand that education is the key to a vibrant, dynamic and innovative Australia.

“We want to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to study at university if it is their wish to do so,” said Senator Rhiannon.

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