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Thursday, 19 November 2009
Page: 12258

Mr CHEESEMAN (1:53 PM) —I want to rise to my feet on the Higher Education Support Amendment (VET FEE-HELP and Tertiary Admission Centres) Bill 2009 to briefly put on record my appreciation of the absolutely outstanding contribution the Minister for Education, the Hon. Julia Gillard, has made to the education debate over the last few years. We were left by the previous government with an absolute train wreck in education policy. We know academics were bullied and gagged, institutions were bullied and gagged, student debt soared and student services were decimated by the previous government. Student course mobility and profitability suffered, and overall student funding to institutions was slashed. In that small contribution, I would like to commend the minister for her reforming zeal.