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Time for Tony Abbott to pull Pyne into line and secure Australian research

With the government’s higher education bill set to fail in the Senate this week, the Australian Greens have called on Tony Abbott to withdraw his government’s higher education Bill and pull Education Minister Christopher Pyne into line and confirm funding for Australian research infrastructure.

“Support for fee deregulation is crumbling. The Senate crossbench looks set to join university students, staff, and the community who have already rejected these reforms,” said Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon.

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Research and Higher Education Press Conference - Parliament House

The government’s Higher Education reforms are destined to fail in the Senate, with Labor, the Greens and most of the crossbench opposing fee deregulation in any form.

Senator Lee Rhiannon is calling on the government to scrap the Bill and open up a national dialogue about higher education.

Adam Bandt MP has called on Tony Abbott to immediately confirm $150 million in funding for Australian researchers and research infrastructure that Education Minister Christopher Pyne has placed under threat.

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Adjournment speech: New South Wales State Election

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (22:19): The New South Wales Liberal and National parties are hell-bent on selling off our collective wealth. While Premier Michael Baird might put a smiley face on the harsh coalition policies, he is not dissimilar from his friend and neighbour, Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Privatisation is a key election platform for the NSW Liberal and National parties. Support for big business, particularly by opening up the sale of public services and assets, is the foundation of the New South Wales coalition government.

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Speech: Higher Education

Lee Rhiannon 16 Mar 2015

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (16:25): The Greens support today's matter of public importance on the Abbott government's shameful attempt to link the job security and research of 1,700 scientific workers with the government's attempt to push through very dangerous university deregulation. We now know that Minister Pyne has been lying to the Australian people-

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator Sterle ): Senator Rhiannon, I would ask that you choose your words carefully and I would ask you to withdraw.

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Turnbull should be a team player on Senate voting reform

Lee Rhiannon 12 Mar 2015

Responding to Malcolm Turnbull’s comments on Senate voting reform, Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said:

“Mr Turnbull would be wise to be a team player on Senate voting reform and back the plan adopted by all MPs, including government representatives on the Electoral Matters Committee, and support the abolition of Senate group voting tickets so voters can determine their own preferences.

“There is a serious flaw in Mr Turnbull’s suggestion that could penalise minor parties.

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Abbott government pretends to take on dodgy colleges to help out Baird

Lee Rhiannon 12 Mar 2015

The Abbott government’s so called clean-up of dodgy colleges is a politically driven announcement timed for the NSW state election as the Baird government is losing support for its plan to expand private, for-profit companies in the vocational education and training sector, Senator Lee Rhiannon Greens higher education spokesperson said. 

“The way to end the dodgy colleges isn’t by fines and audits. For profit private colleges should not be allowed to operate in the vocational education and training sector,” Senator Rhiannon said. 

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AG-GAG laws would stop whistleblowers on animal abuse - Senate backs concerns

 The Australian Senate has supported a Greens motion that recognises that activist gag laws would shut down scrutiny of animal cruelty.

Australian Greens animal welfare spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has welcomed the passage of the motion.

“The Senate motion highlights that if ag-gag laws were passed it would be impossible for cases of animal cruelty like the exposure of the many cases of abuse of greyhounds to occur,” Senator Rhiannon said.

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Greens Bill to push Bishop on gender equality in aid projects

The Greens will today introduce into Parliament a Bill that includes gender equality assessments with our overseas aid by linking reporting requirements for all programs with their impact on women and girls in low income countries.

“Foreign Minister Julie Bishop claims that gender equality is one of the key tenets of her approach to aid, yet she has presided over the biggest cuts to the aid budget. Minister Bishop has cut $11.7 billion in just 18 months of being in office,” said Greens spokesperson for International Aid and Development Senator Lee Rhiannon.

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