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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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Speech: Export Finance and Insurance Corporation Amendment (Direct Lending and Other Measures) Bill 2014

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (09:43): The first part of the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation Amendment (Direct Lending and Other Measures) Bill 2014 does extend the mandate of Efic's activities from supporting the export of capital goods, to all goods. So we are really going from a situation where so many of Efic's loans went for large mining projects and the infrastructure that supported them, and other related projects, to really being about services, consumer goods and many aspects of what are called SMEs, small and medium sized enterprises.

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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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Estimates: Education and Employment Legislation Committee (Australian Research Council)

Senator RHIANNON: I note that the budget documents state that, 'The government will redirect $103 million over four years from the Australian Research councils discovery and linkage programs to other government research projects including…' And on it goes. I am interested in understanding whether it is the case that some funding cuts are in fact hidden and that there is other funding that is being directed out of the ARC.

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Manufacturing taskforce: jobs for Illawarra and Hunter if Govt acts

The Hunter and Illawarra regions could receive a strong boost from the recommendations of the Manufacturing Industry Taskforce report released today, if the federal government backs key initiatives such as a strong local content rules, a sovereign wealth fund and training and energy efficiency measures, says Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon.

"The mining boom and high Australian dollar has helped to shatter manufacturing in the Hunter and Illawarra regions and government attention to boosting manufacturing is well overdue," Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon said.

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Skills shortage solved by investing in public VET, free education

 Federal Labor's proposed overhaul of skills training provides a great opportunity to boost skills and jobs, but the government must avoid forcing students to pay more, says Greens Senator and higher education spokesperson Lee Rhiannon ("Shortage of skills slowing NSW economy", p 2 Daily Telegraph today).

"The extra 320,000 skilled workers NSW needs has been exacerbated by federal Labor policy which is focused on privatising the VET sector and increasing the amount students pay on fees and charges," Senator Rhiannon said.

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