Commenting on Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s announcement that he will reintroduce legislation to deregulate university fees for a third time, Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said:
“Christopher Pyne has gone from desperate to delusional. His deregulation agenda has been comprehensively rejected by university staff, students, the community, and the parliament – twice.”
Senator Rhiannon has also called on the federal Liberal Party to return $15 million spent on advertising this failed party policy.
“Christopher Pyne’s attempts to intimidate and blackmail the Senate into passing his Bill have failed. It seems his new strategy is to badger and wear down the dissenting Senators until they fall into line.
“In the meantime, staff and students promised certainty by March will now be dragged through more months of anxiety.
“Christopher Pyne must accept that his months of desperate manoeuvring have failed. His plan has been defeated twice in four months.
“The Greens are calling Prime Minister Tony Abbott to direct the federal Liberal Party to return $15 million of public money used to run its advertising campaign. The Abbott government must also shut down its taxpayer funded highered.gov.au site, which was designed to advertise the failed changes.
“Christopher Pyne cannot continue to treat higher education policy as his personal plaything.
“If the Prime Minister continues to allow Mr Pyne to spend public money pursuing a plan that is doomed to fail, more questions will be raised about his political judgement.”