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Save Education And Jobs

Given that the government now has $60 billion unspent in the JobKeeper program, Australian Greens Education spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has called for JobKeeper to be extended to university staff and international students, a new funding package provided for higher education, and for free childcare to made permanent.

Senator Faruqi said:

“This ‘mistake’ by the government must be used to provide a lifeline to the many sectors and workers who have been left high and dry during this pandemic.

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Uni Jobs On The Line As Greens Back N.D.A.

Australian Greens Education spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has said that up to 30,000 university jobs will be lost if the federal government does not provide a new funding package for universities and extend the JobKeeper payment to university workers.

The Greens support the National Tertiary Education Union’s National Day of Action (NDA), taking place today, which calls on Education Minister Dan Tehan to step up on university funding and save thousands of jobs.

Senator Faruqi said:

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Childcare Must Remain Free

The Greens have backed a community call to retain free childcare in light of the Education Minister’s strongest indications yet that the government would revert back to a fee-paying model, potentially as early as next month.

Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Greens spokesperson for Education, said:

“Free childcare has been a huge step forward for access to childcare for families. It should be made permanent.

“The government may think it will save money by going back to the fee-paying model, but we know the social and economic benefits of free childcare are enormous.

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Motion: International Students

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

   (i) over 550,000 international students currently study in Australia, contributing immensely to our community and economy,

   (ii) many of these students are suffering enormous financial hardship at the moment due to unemployment, wage losses and instability during COVID-19,

   (iii) students have been forced to queue at food banks, live in cramped accommodation, and rely on the charity of others in order to eat and make ends meet,

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Speech: International Students'

In the last few weeks, there have been disturbing videos shared on social media channels showing queues of international students lining the streets of Sydney. These students are not lining up to wait for transport or go shopping. These students have been queuing to be given free food from restaurants and charities because they have no other way of eating. These are students who we welcomed into our country, many of whom are now facing nothing less than poverty, starvation and homelessness.

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Speech: Retain the Rate of Youth Allowance & JobSeeker

I rise to support the call to retain the rate of the jobseeker and youth allowance payments. A return to the old rate of the jobseeker and youth allowance payments, below the poverty line, would be a colossal moral failing. The Liberals must be forced to confront the fact that they are considering thrusting hundreds of thousands of Australians back below the poverty line in the middle of a crisis. This must not be allowed to happen. We must retain the rate.

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Speech: The Pandemic's Impact

I rise to speak on the pandemic, its impact and our future. The coronavirus pandemic is having some of its greatest impacts on people on low incomes, temporary migrants and women. It has exposed the vast gap between the wealthiest in our society and people barely making ends meet. It has exposed the crushing weight of inequality that many in our community bear.

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Motion: Higher Education

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

   (i) successive governments have cut university funding, leaving the sector reliant on international student fees to fund education and research,

   (ii) the Covid-19 crisis has highlighted how vulnerable the government has left our tertiary education system, and

   (iii) the Government has allowed casualisation and insecure work to run rampant at universities, to the detriment of students' learning, staff well-being and research excellence; and

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Greens Move To Allow Universities Access To JobKeeper

The Greens have lodged a motion in the Senate to disallow parts of the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Amendment Rules (No. 2) 2020 that have the effect of excluding universities from accessing the JobKeeper wage subsidy.

The motion would only disallow provisions of the rules regarding JobKeeper eligibility for higher education providers, which extend the turnover calculation period from one to six months for universities and mandate that government funding be included in the calculations.

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