Devastating cuts to CSIRO in Hobart

The Abbott Government’s savage funding cuts to CSIRO are taking their toll with news today of 18 marine and atmospheric research positions to go from Hobart’s Marine and Atmospheric Research (CMAR) division.

Shadow Minister for Research Senator Kim Carr said this was another tragic blow to CSIRO and to Australia’s standing as a leader in this field of research. 

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Cuts hit CSIRO climate research

Climate, marine and atmospheric research has taken a hit with 28 full-time scientists to lose their jobs as a result of the Abbott Government’s savage funding cuts to CSIRO.

CSIRO has told staff a total of 31 jobs will go, including 18 research scientists from Hobart’s Marine and Atmospheric Research (CMAR) division and eight from the Aspendale Laboratory for climate and atmospheric research in Melbourne. 

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States reject Pyne’s higher education package

The Abbott Government’s higher education package continues to fray at the seams as South Australia – home to federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne – today became the second state government to come out in opposition to the proposed changes.

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has slammed cuts of $78 million over four years to university funding in his state, and said the proposed “Americanisation” of universities would make higher education too expensive for many South Australians.

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Equity measures slashed in Pyne policy shambles

Equity targets may go, and equity funding for public universities has been slashed, under the Abbott Government’s higher education package, Senate Estimates has heard.

“At a time when the Government is pursuing policies which will dramatically increase university fees and student debt, Education Minister Christopher Pyne continually blathers on about his higher education package favouring low SES students,” Shadow Higher Education Minister Senator Kim Carr said after the hearing.

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Another government gaffe highlights uni shambles

First the Prime Minister and then the Education Minister got it wrong on their own higher education policy – now the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Josh Frydenberg, has gotten it wrong too. 

The HELP debt is repaid only on incomes of more than $50,000 and still then, student contributions will represent only 40 per cent of the cost of that individual’s education. 

The taxpayer funds the rest. 

JOSH FRYDENBERG – THE AUSTRALIAN – 6 JUNE 2014

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Pyne uni package an uncontrolled experiment

The fee outcomes of the most radical transformation to higher education in Australia for 30 years have not been assessed, Department of Education officials have told Senate estimates. 

On top of a lack of consultation beforehand, and a failure to reveal this radical plan before the election, we now hear that there is no official view of what will happen to fees,” Shadow Higher Education Minister Senator Kim Carr said after the hearing.

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International scholars could be barred from Future Fellowships

World-class international scholars could be excluded from Future Fellowships under possible rule changes for the prestigious mid-career research awards, Senate Estimates heard today.

The head of the Australian Research Council confirmed that a move to give Australian researchers priority could mean international researchers – who currently make up about 10 per cent of successful applicants, or 20 researchers a year – would be excluded.

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Budget cut puts textile jobs, skills at risk

The Abbott Government’s budget cuts are threatening the survival of innovative Australian firms and the livelihoods of their workers.

A bill introduced into Parliament last week closes the Clothing and Household Textile Building Innovative Capability Scheme (BIC) Scheme and the Textiles, Clothing and Footwear Small Business program on 30 June – a year early.

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Dodgy modelling cannot hide higher education shambles

Education Minister Christopher Pyne cannot disguise the disintegration of his higher education package with dodgy modelling or desperate spin, Shadow Minister for Higher Education Senator Kim Carr said today.

According to Mr Pyne, “typical” university graduates will pay only $3 to $5 a week extra in loan repayments over one to two years based on debts of $30,000 and $40,000 respectively.

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Further alarm over uni policy disarray

University vice-chancellors continue to express alarm at the Abbott Government’s higher education shambles, with one describing it as “the worst piece of policy” he has seen in Australia in 26 years.

 University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor Stephen Parker has slammed the changes as:

“ … unfair, unethical, reckless, poor economic policy, contrary to the international evidence and being woefully explained, raising suspicions about how much thought has actually gone into them”.

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