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Motion: Special Circumstances funding for Public Schools

I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Federal Government has announced $10 million in Special Circumstances Funding to drought affected schools, but has specifically excluded public schools from receiving this funding, and

(ii) more than 80% of students in rural and remote areas are enrolled in public schools and they are also deeply impacted by the drought; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to establish a fund for government schools facing hardship as a result of ongoing drought conditions.

Question negatived.

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Speech: Early Childhood Education & Care

Thank you, Mr President. Early childhood education and care play an important role in children's development and do support families with young children. It doesn't matter what you earn, where you live and how much you work or study, your child should get the education and care that they need. Universal access to early childhood education should be extended to all three-year-olds and four-year-olds on an ongoing basis.

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Liberal/National Government Failing on Skills and Training

Australian Greens Spokesperson for Education, Senator Mehreen Faruqi, has said that the Liberal/National Government is failing on skills and training. The Department of Education’s Annual Report shows a number of skills programs that have come in seriously under budget, including the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network ($51m under budget); Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program ($35m under budget); Industry Specialist Mentoring for Australian Apprentices ($11m under budget).[1]

Senator Faruqi said:

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Speech: Rural Hardship Education Fund

The Greens support the universal right of every child to access education, and we recognise the particular hardship faced by families in isolated areas, particularly those areas in drought. Funding could include extra support for small rural schools, like Trundle Central School in the Central West or Hermidale Public School between Nyngan and Cobar, to provide extra services and care to students and their families. It could mean building new public boarding schools.

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Greens Slam Labor and Liberal Collusion to Scrap Education Investment

Greens Senator for NSW and Education Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi, has slammed Labor and the Liberals for striking a deal to sell out TAFEs and universities. The two parties voted today to abolish the $4 billion Education Infrastructure Fund, which was focused on building research and education infrastructure.

Senator Faruqi said:

“Labor and the Government have teamed up to stab education in the back by abolishing billions in education funding.

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Speech: Emergency Response Fund Bill 2019

I rise on behalf of the Greens to speak to the Emergency Response Fund Bill 2019. This bill really does lay bare the Liberal-National government's logic-free approach to the wicked problems of our time. With this bill they are attempting to abolish Australia's only—I repeat, only—TAFE and university infrastructure fund, to create an opaque Emergency Response Fund, without a cent for disaster resilience or any action on the climate crisis. What a mess!

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Speech: National Children's Week

The Greens are strong supporters of early childhood education and care. We believe that anyone who wants their child to participate in early education should be able to do so without any barriers, and early childhood educators should be paid a professional wage. We want to extend universal access to early childhood education to 24 hours a week for all three- and four-year-olds and fund the national partnership agreement on an ongoing basis. Let's also further support children and families by making child care free and by abolishing the activity test.

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Greens Senator Calls for University Research Human Rights Review

Greens Senator for NSW and Education Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi has called for universities in Australia to undertake a human rights review of all their research partnerships following allegations Australian universities are contributing to the surveillance state in China.

Senator Faruqi said:

“It is completely unacceptable for Australian universities to be involved in projects that could impede the human rights of ethnic minorities and political dissidents.

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Speech: Higher Education Support Costs & Charges Bills 2019

I rise on behalf of the Greens to speak to the Higher Education Support (Charges) Bill 2019 and the Higher Education Support Amendment (Cost Recovery) Bill 2019. I'll be clear from the outset: the Greens do not support these bills. These bills impose yet another levy on the higher education sector, which is already under pressure from round after round of funding cuts. The Greens are deeply concerned about the ongoing cuts to higher education.

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