Senate debates

Thursday, 17 October 2019


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

11:19 am

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

I oppose schedule 2 on sheet 8763 in the following terms:

(1) Schedule 2, page 10 (line 1) to page 15 (line 31), TO BE OPPOSED.

This is an amendment basically to preserve the Education Investment Fund, which is really what we are arguing about here—taking $4 billion from TAFE and universities. This is this government's third attempt to abolish the Education Investment Fund. That is how much they attack our students, our teachers and our educational institutions, and the Greens of course will not stand for this. That's why I'm moving this amendment—so we can prevent the Education Investment Fund from being abolished.

The Education Investment Fund should not be abolished and should be used only for education and research infrastructure, for our TAFEs and universities. It is the last remaining fund for education infrastructure, and the government is still intent on raiding it—and the Labor Party is supporting them in raiding that education fund. What happened to the Labor Party who used to be the party for public education? A measly $50 million in exchange for $4 billion—which state or territory will it go to? It won't even build one building for any TAFE or any university. I've said this before, but I want to say it again: this is the future of the next generation, of the current generation, not only because they need places and world's-best education but also because these are the very places that will help us combat the climate crisis, that will help us combat the disasters that are happening and that will help us build resilience in our communities.

It just makes no sense—but then, when have the government made any sense? And the Labor Party makes no sense at all. I commend the amendment to the House.


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