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Speech: Choice and Affordability Fund for Non-Government Schools

We have seen from Minister McKenzie's performance in question time today and from the stonewalling at budget estimates that the so-called 'choice and affordability fund' is exactly what we thought it would be when it was first announced. This is a bipartisan political fix for private schools that comes at the direct expense of public schools, public school students and teachers, which are grossly underfunded and most in need. This whole program is a farce.

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Speech: National Horse Register

A national horse register makes sense for animal welfare, for safety and for biosecurity. Animal advocates, safety advocates and the racing industry itself agree about the need for a centralised national register. We are just stuck on what model, who is included and how to pay. We definitely need national leadership, and I will continue to push for federal leadership in establishing a national register. Horses do not have lifetime tracking beyond the first movement.

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Question: No regulation of the $1.2bn fund for private schools

Senator FARUQI (New South Wales) (14:23): My question is to Senator Hon. Bridget McKenzie, Minister for Regional Services, Sport, Local Government and Decentralisation, representing the Minister for Education. Minister, at budget estimates the Department of Education indicated that there were no rules or regulations developed for the proposed $1.2 billion fund—the so-called 'choice and affordability fund'—for private schools, and that the figure was a decision by the government.

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Australian Greens Senator Says 'Nup to the Cup'

Australian Greens Animal Welfare Spokesperson, Senator Mehreen Faruqi, has said 'Nup to the Cup' and will join millions of Australians who won't be participating in the Melbourne Cup today. A Guardian Essential Poll has found just 8% of Australians have a high interest in horse racing, and almost one third of Australians don't participate in Melbourne Cup due to animal welfare and gambling concerns.

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Research 'National Interest' Test a Smokescreen for Political Interference

Australian Greens Education Spokesperson, Senator Mehreen Faruqi, has rebuked Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan's proposed national interest test as a smokescreen for political interference.

Senator Faruqi said:

"When the Liberals and Nationals say national interest, we know what they really mean. They have such a narrow understanding of the importance of research in all fields, who knows what will be on the chopping block. Perhaps the Minister would like to cut off research relating to trade unions, climate change or asylum seekers?

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