Responding to comments by the Minister of Education, Christopher Pyne, that departmental modelling on the impact of the government's university cuts would not be released "as it may have commercial implications within a deregulated market", Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon said:
"It is extraordinary that Mr Pyne is attempting to hide his own department's modelling on the impact of his regressive changes to university funding, using the fig leaf of ‘commercial implications'.
"Mr Pyne cannot use his decision to provide private education companies with public subsidies as an excuse to keep the public in the dark about the impact of his cuts."
"These cuts will have an enormous impact on nearly two million Australians currently studying or have a HECS debt, as well as the hundreds of thousands of young Australians contemplating a university education.
"Modelling by the Greens and the National Tertiary Education Union has shown the biggest burden of the cuts will fall on low-income graduates and women who take time out of the workforce to raise a family.
"I will be pursuing the government's modelling in Senate Estimates to ascertain whether the Minister is aware of the regressive impact of his cuts.
"If answers are not forthcoming I will be moving a motion in the Senate calling for the release of these documents.
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