Abbott Government not so open for business

With only one week to go, details of the Abbott Government’s innovation support programs are still up in the air, leaving Australia’s business community in the lurch.

“The Government’s so-called Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme is supposed to be up and running on 1 July 2014, but there are no program guidelines, and only a vague outline of what it will actually do,” Shadow Industry Minister Senator Kim Carr said.

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Fee hikes a worry for science and engineering students

Peak academic and professional bodies have warned the Abbott Government its higher education changes will deter science and engineering students, depriving Australia of much-needed skills for the jobs of the future.

The Australian Council of Engineering Deans and the Royal Australian Chemical Institute have written separately to the Government warning that sharp fee hikes will see a downturn in enrolments and jeopardise the nation’s long-term economic prosperity.

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End secrecy over $3 billion East-West link

The Abbott Government has the opportunity to end the shroud of secrecy surrounding the awarding of $3 billion of Commonwealth funding for the East-West Link, Labor Senator for Victoria Kim Carr said today.

Last night the Australian Senate called on the Federal Government to produce documents relating to the East-West Link business case by July 7.

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Scientists lose jobs at CSIRO’s Aspendale labs

Staff at CSIRO’s Marine and Atmospheric Research laboratories at Aspendale have been told eight marine and atmospheric research positions are to go, and the facility will be closed at an unspecified date.

Shadow Minister for Research Senator Kim Carr and Member for Isaacs Mark Dreyfus QC today visited the Aspendale laboratories to tour the facility and meet with staff.

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Abbott Govt destroys the fair go for regional students

La Trobe University students met with Shadow Higher Education Minister Senator Kim Carr and Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters MP in Bendigo today to discuss their concerns about the Abbott Government’s proposed changes to higher education.

Senator Carr said students were entitled to be worried about the prospect of paying $100,000 for a degree and being saddled with crippling debts that could take years to pay off.

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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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