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Regions despair as PM appoints Minister for Trade and Competitiveness, the Asian Century a... oh, yeah, Tertiary Education

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25 March 2013

Regions despair as PM Appoints Minister for Trade and Competitiveness, the Asian Century and… oh, yeah, Tertiary Education

Hopes that regional universities and students would benefit from a competent, attentive minister to attend to their plight following the latest reshuffle have evaporated with the portfolio merely being tacked on to the Trade Minister’s responsibilities, according to Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Education, Fiona Nash.

“Dr Emerson is keeping his day job as Minister for Trade and Competitiveness as well as his recently acquired extra duty as Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Asian Century Policy.”

“Trade ministers are rarely in the country when Parliament is not sitting; where is Dr Emerson going to find the time to discharge his new responsibility as Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills Science and Research?” Senator Nash asked.

“Regional Australia needs a full-time Tertiary Education Minister. How many regional universities is Dr Emerson going to be able to visit between now and polling day?”

“This is absolutely appalling and a massive insult to the Regional Universities Network in particular, which has invested so much into its Smarter Regions, Smarter Australia policy initiative.”

“It also proves once and for all that in spite of what she claims, Julia Gillard’s passion is not, and never has been education, the only thing she cares about is clinging to power at any cost.”

“As a result, that cost is largely being met by regional Australia,” Senator Nash concluded.

Media contact: Murray Lees 0417 406 338