National Party revolts against higher uni fees

The National Party in Western Australia has slammed the Abbott Government’s unfair higher education changes and rejected Christopher Pyne’s claims that regional universities will be the “biggest winners”.

In an extraordinary submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Government’s higher education changes, the National Party says: 

The higher education reform claims to be in the spirit of fairness and equality, giving greater capacity for regional and rural students to access higher education opportunities, but the PNP remains unconvinced.  

PARLIAMENTARY NATIONAL PARTY, WA – SUBMISSION TO SENATE INQUIRY
– 22 SEPTEMBER 2014 

The National Party says the decision to deregulate fees and charge higher interest rates on student loans will have a disproportionate impact on regional students, and that “the social costs on regional students in WA have been poorly considered”.

The National Party also rejects the Education Minister’s claim that regional universities stand to be the biggest winners from fee deregulation: 

I can say that regional universities will be the biggest winners from this reform … 

CHRISTOPHER PYNE – ABC RADIO, AM – 28 AUGUST 2014

Not so, say the Nationals.

There is very little evidence to suggest that “rural and regional students will be the biggest winners from the reforms” by allowing “for the first time rural and regional universities to compete with the city universities on price” as argued by Minister Pyne. 

PARLIAMENTARY NATIONAL PARTY, WA – SUBMISSION TO SENATE INQUIRY
– 22 SEPTEMBER 2014 

Labor has consistently pointed to the inequity at the heart of Tony Abbott’s unfair university changes, particularly for regional and low-income students.

It’s no secret that regional universities are seriously threatened by the Abbott Government’s proposed changes.

The question is: why have Federal National Party MPs and Senators been silent in the Parliament? Why have they failed to stand up for their communities and their constituents?

In Question Time today, Nationals Leader Warren Truss continued to defend the unfair and immoral changes and claimed that they would “particularly” benefit regional students.

The WA Nationals have belled the cat. It’s time for this charade to end, for the Federal Nationals to admit they’ve got it wrong, and demand that its Coalition partner go back to the drawing board with their unfair changes.

THURSDAY, 25 SEPTEMBER 2014


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