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Greens will pursue donations conflict of interest involving Tony Abbott

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 21 May 2014

A Liberal Party donor whose institution provided a $60 000 higher education “chairman’s scholarship” to Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s daughter raises serious questions about ethics and conflicts of interest, said Australian Greens spokesperson for democracy and higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon. 

“Les Taylor, chairman of the Whitehouse Institute of Design who provided the Prime Minister’s daughter with a fee-free education, has donated more than $12,000 to the NSW Division of the Liberal Party,” Senator Rhiannon said.

“These donations were flowing into the Liberal Party. The Liberal party recently announced that Government money can now be acccessed by private higher education providers such as the Whitehouse Institute of Design.

“Mr Abbott should now reveal if he was lobbied by the chairman of the Whitehouse Institute of Design, Mr Les Taylor, to open up Federal Government funding to private higher education providers.

“The Greens have long called for donations reform to end the perception that political donations are linked to political decisions.   

“The decision to make public universities compete with private, for profit education companies like  the Whitehouse Institute of Design  for Government funding will have disastrous consequence.  

“The Greens will be pursuing the accreditation of a number of courses offered by the Whitehouse Institute of Design by the government regulator, TEQSA,” Senator Rhiannon said.

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