3 December 2013
Labor backs Greens to block Coalition’s $2.3 billion higher education cuts
Greens spokesperson for higher education, Senator Lee Rhiannon has welcomed Labor’s decision to reverse their position on $2.3 billion cuts to higher education.
Labor first proposed the cuts in April this year, and faced an immediate backlash from unions, The Greens and thousands of staff and students. Following the introduction of legislation into Parliament by the new Coalition government, The Greens launched a campaign targeting Labor MPs in key seats.
Senator Rhiannon said: “This decision to join The Greens and block the $2.3 billion cuts comes after a sustained community campaign involving the National Tertiary Education Union, the National Union of Students, the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations Universities Australia, The Greens staff and students and staff across the country.
“The Greens campaign targeted 27 Labor MP’s in federal electorates with high student and staff populations. Our online campaign reached tens of thousands of people who opposed these cuts and gave them information that quantified the impact of the cuts in their local electorate, asking them to contact their representatives.
“We received an enormous response and believe that helping put a local face on these billion dollar cuts is what helped push Labor into reversing their position.
“Now that Labor is backing The Greens, we have the numbers in the Senate to stop these cuts from becoming law.
“The Greens congratulate all the staff and students involved in this campaign, in particular the National Tertiary Education Union.
We look forward to continue working with staff and students for a well-funded, quality public higher education system,” Senator Rhiannon said.
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