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Pyne higher education bill will not provide free higher education as Minister claims

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 28 Oct 2014

The Greens have said Christopher Pyne's higher education cuts will not lead to "free higher education", as some have suggested but are instead going to leave thousands of students and their families with an exorbitant amount of debt.

"Christopher Pyne's latest spin that his bill will give people free higher education is so wrong. It's actually quite unbelievable how deceptive the Minister is," said Greens higher education spokesperson Lee Rhiannon.

"Modelling by the National Tertiary Education Union spells this out clearly. Annual fees at the University of Sydney will need to rise by more than 160 per cent a year for two thirds of the student population so that Vice Chancellor Michael Spence can contribute some limited form of financial support to the remaining one third.

"Paying an extra $12 800 a year in student fees so that living expenses can be subsidised for other students does not equal "free higher education".

"I welcome PUP leader Clive Palmer and Senator Jacqui Lambie's strong support for free higher education for all Australians and I am ever ready to make this become a reality.

"Christopher Pyne's bill is poison to higher education in Australia and should be scrapped when it hits the Senate this week.

"There is an alternative to fee rises and increasing debt and that is one which gives opportunity to all Australians, not just the rich ones", said Senator Rhiannon.

Contact: Brami Jegan 0487 350 880


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