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Nelson focused on leadership not education.

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Media Release Jenny MacklinMP


Deputy Leader of the Opposition

Shadow Minister for Employment, Education, Training & Science Federal Member for Jagajaga

The Education Minister today revealed that he is more focused on pursuing his leadership ambitions than he is on remaining Education Minister.

On Channel Ten’s Meet the Press program, Dr Brendan Nelson would not say that he wanted to stay in the Education, Science and Training portfolio and refused to rule out challenging Peter Costello for the leadership.

Dr Nelson refused to say that he would tell the Prime Minister that he wanted to see through his proposed higher education changes and remain Education Minister until the next election.

Dr Nelson then four times refused to support Peter Costello as the one and only successor to the Prime Minister.

When asked directly whether he would challenge Peter Costello for the Liberal party leadership, Dr Nelson said only that this was not an issue for the “foreseeable future.”

Dr Nelson wants to jump ship because his higher education package is unravelling with every passing day.

Almost daily, another university is finding that it will be worse off under Dr Nelson’s proposed changes. The mounting total of universities’ lost funding is already more than $20 million in one year, according to one report.

But the transitional fund budgeted to cover-up the package’s damaging funding impact is only $12.6 million over four years.

Dr Nelson tried to fudge this issue on the Meet the Press program when he said that the transitional funding would magically be able to cover-up all universities’ lost funding “whatever figure we agree on.”

Dr Nelson’s package is a mess.

Dr Nelson should stop focusing on his leadership ambitions and start focusing on developing a higher education a policy that actually delivers more public support for our struggling universities, instead of one that leaves them worse off.

More info: Joanna Brent 0408 473 278

6 July 2003