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Pyne's business mates insult Senate crossbenchers on higher education cuts

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 2 Sep 2014

The Greens say the government's reliance on business people to build support for its unpopular higher education bill highlights that the cuts benefit those who will never need to worry about increased fees and higher student debt.

"Businessman David Gonski's comment that, ‘leaving the future of all of us to a few crossbenchers is sad' is out of touch with reality and offensive to democratically elected minor party and independent Senators," Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon said.

"If it were left to Mr Gonski, he would allow Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne to increase student debt, strip away opportunities and slash billions in funding.

"Mr Gonksi has aligned himself with corporate leaders instead of staff and students at the university he is Chancellor of.

"This says a lot about the type of higher education in Australia he wants - a system of haves and have nots.

"A deregulated fee system would create a two-tier higher education system with students who can afford to pay more enrolling at universities facing high demand and pricing out the less well-off.

"Mr Pyne does not have the Parliament's support for his proposed regressive changes to higher education funding. The big end of town should stop meddling with the future of public higher education in Australia.

"As debate around Mr Pyne's Bill begins in Parliament today, the Greens are reiterating our call to have it voted down as soon as possible in order to end the anxiety and uncertainty impacting parents and students." Senator Rhiannon said. 

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