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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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Science, research and jobs threatened by Pyne's Parliamentary blackmail

Greens Deputy Leader and science, research and innovation spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today said that world-class research facilities around the country and about 1700 jobs face the axe from June 30 this year under Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s desperate attempt to pass his Higher Education bill by blackmailing the Senate.

“Education Minister Christopher Pyne is blackmailing the Parliament, saying that unless the Parliament passes his plan to increase university fees, he’ll take the axe to science and research facilities in this country,” Mr Bandt said.

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Motion: Employment in Regional NSW

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (15:48): I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the average unemployment rate in regional New South Wales has risen by 2.6 per cent since the Liberal/National Government came to office in New South Wales,

(ii) unemployment in regional New South Wales is now 8.5 per cent, compared to 5.8 per cent in the greater Sydney area,

(iii) more than 10 000 jobs have been lost in the Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands area - 16 per cent of the workforce - since the Abbott Government came to office,

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Speech: Maules Creek Coalmine

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (17:04): The world is turning its back on coal. So many communities and so many countries are recognising that renewables are the way of the future, that they are commercially and industrially viable, and they are putting them in place. But in Australia, because of weak planning laws at a state level and weak environment laws at a federal level, it is so hard for communities to be heard.

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Motion: SunSwift

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (15:44): by leave—I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Sunswift University of New South Wales Solar Racing Team was recently confirmed by the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile to have broken the world speed record for electric vehicles, averaging more than 100 km/hr over 500 km on a single battery charge,

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Greens support manufacturing workers

Greens MPs from across the country, including Senators Scott Ludlam, Lee Rhiannon, Penny Wright, Sarah Hanson-Young, Janet Rice and Adam Bandt MP, today provided their support to manufacturing workers who came to Parliament seeking a strong shipbuilding and manufacturing base in Australia.

"The Greens will keep fighting to keep Australian manufacturing strong, especially in the south-eastern states," said Mr Bandt, the Greens Deputy Leader and Industry spokesperson.

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