Christopher Pyne must draw a line under his failed reform agenda

Christopher Pyne isn’t fooling anyone – except perhaps himself. The Education Minister is trying to sound like a willing and reasonable negotiator on the package of higher education changes announced in the budget.

It’s better to have 80 per cent of something, he says, than nothing at all. So if he can‘t get his package through the Senate intact he’ll make some concessions to get most of it through.

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ABC Newcastle, Breakfast with Aaron Kearney

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
ABC NEWCASTLE, BREAKFAST WITH AARON KEARNEY
TUESDAY, 12 AUGUST 2014

SUBJECT/S: Labor’s “A Degree Shouldn’t Be a Debt Sentence” campaign; impact of cuts on University of Newcastle; a federal ICAC.

AARON KEARNEY: Depending on who you believe, the Government’s plan to deregulate universities fees will either make higher education cheaper – 

[Christopher Pyne audio]

Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne, mounting the argument that deregulation equals lower university fees. Perhaps the effects of deregulation are not, or cannot, yet be known – 

[Professor Caroline McMillen audio

Professor Caroline McMillen, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Newcastle, speaking to me in May this year in the wake of the federal budget announcements.

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A degree shouldn’t be a debt sentence

Opposition leader Bill Shorten and Shadow Higher Education Minister Senator Kim Carr will today join students and staff at the University of Melbourne to launch a campaign on campuses across Australia to fight Tony Abbott’s debt sentence on university students.

Mr Shorten said the Abbott Government’s radical and unfair higher education agenda would shatter the dream of a university degree for many students and their families.

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Time to pack in Pyne package

Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer’s categorical statement that his party will not vote for deregulation of university fees in the Senate is the latest signal for the Abbott Government to withdraw its unfair higher education package, Shadow Higher Education Minister Senator Kim Carr said today.

“Without the Senate’s support for his unfair changes and deregulation, Pyne’s package is a dead duck,” Senator Carr said.

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Science research grants awarded on the basis of patents is patently wrong

Ian Macfarlane had a Brandis moment this week when he called for grants to be awarded on the basis of patents rather than scientific articles. Like the attorney-general trying to explain metadata, the Australian industry minister waded into waters where he was completely out of his depth.

When it comes to giving taxpayers’ money to researchers, he said:

We might think about realigning block grants to commercial outcomes, and awarding them to universities not on the basis of how many papers they’ve had published, but actually on how many patents they’ve had registered.

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A cock-eyed idea in search of a policy

Basing grants to university researchers on the number of patents registered is the latest cock-eyed idea to emerge from the Abbott Government, the Shadow Research, Innovation and Industry Minister, Senator Kim Carr, said today.

“This is another ill-considered proposal which was flagged in The Australian today from a Government with no science minister, no innovation strategy, and no grasp of science or research policy,” Senator Carr said.

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Pyne’s higher education package will take Australia backwards

Shadow Minister for Higher Education Senator Kim Carr said the public was being misled by claims that reduced funding by “successive governments” meant universities had no option but to accept the Abbott Government’s move to deregulate fees.

“The Abbott Government is peddling mistruths about funding because they desperately want to Americanise our university sector,” said Senator Carr.

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More porky pies from perfidious Pyne

Education Minister Christopher Pyne today conceded his higher education package will not pass the Senate.

This was the one note of reality in a speech that otherwise took the Abbott Government’s disregard for the truth to a new level by claiming the Coalition has kept its election promises on university funding. 

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New CSIRO research vessel destined for Hobart

News that CSIRO has formally taken possession of the research vessel RV Investigator has been welcomed by Shadow Minister for Research, Innovation and Industry Senator Kim Carr and Labor Senator for Tasmania Senator Carol Brown.

The vessel, which will be based in Hobart, was funded under Labor’s Super Science initiative in 2009, and handed over to CSIRO in Singapore yesterday.

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ABC Hobart, Mornings with Sarah Gillman

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
ABC HOBART, MORNINGS WITH SARAH GILLMAN
TUESDAY, 5 AUGUST 2014

SUBJECT/S: Abbott Government’s cuts to University of Tasmania; NBN report; unemployed Queenstown miners; new CSIRO research vessel.

SARAH GILLMAN: One of the contentious Budget items still involves the deregulation of universities and the Federal Opposition claims that if it does go ahead, if it gets through the Senate, then the University of Tasmania will have to cut down its course offering and potentially close one of its two regional campuses. Labor’s Kim Carr is in the state today to talk to people at the university and he joins us now. Good morning.

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