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Extend Free Childcare And Provide JobKeeper For ECEC Workers: Greens

The Greens have said that returning to expensive fee-paying childcare today will harm families, disproportionately impact women and threaten the viability of early learning as the Covid-19 pandemic continues.

The federal government should extend free childcare and ensure all early childhood education and care workers are eligible for JobKeeper payments.

Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Australian Greens spokesperson for Education, said:

“It’s downright cruel and shortsighted to scrap free childcare before practically every other Covid-19 support measure.

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Governments Continue To Fail Public Schools

Australian Greens spokesperson for Education, Senator Mehreen Faruqi, has said analysis released today shows once again that federal and state governments have monumentally failed to adequately fund public schools.

Data published in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age has shown that, over the last decade, public funding has continued to flow heavily to private schools.

Senator Faruqi said:

“Well-funded public education should be the backbone of our education system, but public schools are getting a raw deal.

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Free Uni Not Malicious Fee Hikes Says Faruqi As Humanities Graduate Tehan Attacks Humanities Students

"Degrees should cost students zero dollars," Greens spokesperson for Education, Senator Mehreen Faruqi, said this morning in response to the "government's pathetic uni fee hikes".

“Arts graduate Minister Tehan's jobs rhetoric is empty. He's part of a Government that would rather throw a tantrum at humanities students and slam them with higher fees than do the hard work of creating jobs across the economy.

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Amendment: National Skills Commissioner Bill 2020

Our amendment on sheet 8975 is very similar to the government amendment which has just passed, and it was one that Dr Helen Haines introduced in the other place. I seek leave to withdraw that amendment.

Leave granted.

The PRESIDENT: The question now is that the amendment on sheet 8977 revised, circulated by the Australian Greens, be agreed to.

Australian Greens' circulated amendment—

(1) Clause 9, page 6 (after line 16), after subclause (3), insert:

Requirement for vocational education and training representative

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Speech: National Skills Commissioner Bill 2020

I rise on behalf of the Greens to speak to the National Skills Commissioner Bill 2020. The bill before us today implements one of the key recommendations of the Joyce review, which is to set up a skills commission at the core of the skills system. The Joyce review examined Australia's vocational education and training system to strengthen skills and reported in March 2019. The National Skills Commissioner Bill 2020 establishes a new statutory office to be known as the National Skills Commission, which is to be headed by the National Skills Commissioner.

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Motion: university job losses

I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) Australian universities are facing massive losses in revenue as a result of falling enrolments during the COVID-19 crisis, and

(ii) universities across the country have begun to announce job cuts, with up to 30,000 jobs expected to be lost;

(b) calls on vice-chancellors to prioritise retaining staff, including those on casual and fixed-term contracts, in their responses to revenue losses, and

(c) calls on the government to include all universities in the JobKeeper scheme.

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Motion: Make Early Learning & Childcare Free

I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

   (i) the government has decided to scrap free childcare and begin forcing parents to pay expensive childcare fees again from next month,

   (ii) this move will force many parents to reduce their work days or remove their children from care,

   (iii) childcare is an essential service which should be universally available for everyone, and

   (iv) the move away from free childcare will disproportionately impact women;

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Speech: Childcare

I can honestly say that I would not have been able to complete my masters and PhD, nor embark on a career in engineering or academia, and then eventually state and federal politics, without access to affordable child care. When I migrated to Australia from Pakistan in 1992 and commenced my studies at the University of New South Wales, I pretty quickly realised that the available child care in my area was just unaffordable. It was too expensive. And that's how I got involved in a campaign to establish affordable student-centred child care at the university.

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