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Thursday, 10 May 2007
Page: 80

Mr RUDD (2:31 PM) —My question is to the Prime Minister. Did the Prime Minister say to the Australian parliament and people—and I quote—‘I can guarantee’—or words to that effect—

Government members interjecting—

The SPEAKER —Order! Members on my right!

Mr RUDD —I am reading from the Hansard. Did the Prime Minister say to the Australian parliament and people:

The government will not be introducing an American style higher education system.

Did the Prime Minister go on to say:

There will be no $100,000 university fees under this government. That is a figment of the Labor Party’s propaganda machine ...

Why did the Prime Minister breach his promise to the Australian parliament and to the Australian people?

Mr HOWARD (Prime Minister) —I think even Brand 1 asked that question when he was Leader of the Opposition and certainly the member for Hotham did. The truth is that that comment was made was in the context of HECS funded places. The Leader of the Opposition asked me about guarantees. I tell you what, Mr Speaker, I will give this guarantee, and that is that interest rates will always be lower under the coalition than under Labor.