Pyne happy to leave unis and students in limbo

The Abbott Government’s switch from “budget emergency” to “she’ll be right, we’ll take our time” shows just how incompetent and out of touch it is.

Today marks 100 days since Tony Abbott and the Coalition shocked Australians by announcing their radical and unfair agenda for $100,000 degrees and the Americanisation of our universities.

Having failed to do its homework on its higher education package before the budget, the Government now thinks it can prolong the uncertainty for the sector while it tinkers at the edges of its unfair, unworkable and unpopular proposals for cuts and deregulation.

Speaking of the “series of structural reforms, structural savings” that need to be passed by the Parliament, Senator Cormann said yesterday:

“ … we do have the time to deal with these things in a patient, orderly and methodical fashion.” 

MATHIAS CORMANN – ABC RADIO AM – 20 AUGUST 2014 

Talk about putting the cart before the horse.

The time for “patient, orderly and methodical”  action was before the budget.

Instead, having lied about its intentions, the Government rushed in half-baked, ill-considered budget measures designed to upend Australia’s higher education system.

Having thoroughly upset the universities, students and most of the community, the Education Minister has now decided he has the “patience” to push through his dud package.

 "We are only just at the beginning of what will be a very, very long negotiating process." 

CHRISTOPHER PYNE – ABC TRIPLE J – 20 AUGUST 2014

As the peak body Universities Australia warned three months ago, there is not enough time to introduce the complex changes before next year as planned – and that was before the Government embarked on its latest leisurely approach.

“… we need to be able to advise students about what it is they're going to be facing come January 2016.” 

UNIVERSITIES AUSTRALIA CHAIR SANDRA HARDING –ABC AM – 21 MAY 2014

Frankly, it’s time to acknowledge the package is not going to make it through the Senate – no matter how much it’s fiddled with – and the only solution is to toss it out and go back to the drawing board.

 Time and patience are running out.

THURSDAY, 21 AUGUST 2014


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