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Monday, 9 February 2015
Page: 160


Mrs McNAMARA (Dobell) (20:58): I rise today to support the Higher Education and Research Reform Bill 2014. This is the second time I have supported these higher education reforms. These reforms are vital to securing Australia's competitiveness in the tertiary education sector into the future. Sadly, the Labor opposition simple do not care for or understand the significance of this reform. Their vote to defeat this legislation reinforces their desire to seek short-term political gain over long-term substantial reform benefiting all Australians. Moreover, the Labor opposition have displayed their lack of decency by running a shameful scaremongering campaign designed to discourage students seeking and achieving higher education aspirations. For this they should be ashamed. Opposition to such significant and overdue reform should never derive from the desire to derail a government's agenda and sabotage Australian students' economy and future.

This legislation is well conceived, well intentioned and absolutely necessary to improve the standard of Australia's higher education sector. This legislation will enhance the opportunity for students, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds and rural and regional areas, to engage in higher education. Importantly, this legislation will help secure Australia's position on the global market as internationally competitive in the provision of world-leading higher education.