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Higher education: where is Labor's alternative?



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MEDIA RELEASE

HIGHER EDUCATION - WHERE IS LABOR’S ALTERNATIVE?

27 May, 2003 MIN 360/02

Labor’s Education Spokesperson, Jenny Macklin, has told The Advertiser newspaper;

"Labor would release its alternative higher education package in coming weeks." The Advertiser, May 21, 2003

This is a welcome announcement.

So far Labor has made promises in the Higher Education area totalling more than $1.2 billion but has given no indication of how it will pay for them.

In addition Simon Crean has raised expectations that a future Labor government would seek to return to the Whitlam days of free eduction for the wealthy, paid for by the taxes of those who never set foot inside our higher education institutions.

"Opening up our universities to all Australians - like the Whitlam and Hawke Governments did - is a big bold reform. And I will do it again."

Simon Crean, Budget reply speech, May 15, 2003

Kenneth Davidson says Labor’s original Knowledge Nation was a ‘sham’;

"Beazley ensured his 2001 election policy centrepiece - the Knowledge Nation - was a sham. There was no money to finance the ambitious programme in the first three years of a Beazley Government…" Kenneth Davidson, The Age, April 28, 2003

Labor has said it will use its numbers in the Senate to block the Government’s Higher Education reform package - which includes $1.5 billion in new funding for the sector over four years.

Obstructionism is no substitute for policy.

Media contact:

Dr Nelson’s Office: Ross Hampton 0419 484 095