Senate debates

Thursday, 17 October 2019


Emergency Response Fund Bill 2019, Emergency Response Fund (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2019; In Committee

10:59 am

Photo of Mehreen FaruqiMehreen Faruqi (NSW, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

The Greens will not be opposing these amendments, but I just have to say that circulating amendments literally five seconds before they're about to be discussed is pretty atrocious and pretty disrespectful. The Greens won't be opposing these amendments, because they do provide some funding for resilience and they do provide some funding for TAFE. I agree that it is better than nothing, but, in this instance, that is not good enough. The bottom line is that this bill still raids the Education Investment Fund, which has a few billion dollars in it for both TAFEs and universities. Doing a deal with the government to give $50 million to TAFE—that is a drop in the ocean. Yes, it is much-needed funding, but we could actually not raid the Education Investment Fund today and still provide funding for resilience, still provide much-needed funding for those communities who are facing these disasters.

And why are they going to be facing these disasters more and more? You've got to think about that. There is zero funding anywhere here for actually addressing the climate crisis. The irony of it all is that the very institutions that will be doing research in not only helping disaster relief, in not only helping people who have gone through these disasters, but actually addressing the climate emergency and climate crisis or training people into new jobs, into a new society, into a new economy, into a new world—those exact institutions, those exact places, are now bereft of that funding that is so desperately needed. I think that is the shame in this law.


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