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Question Time: Childcare

Senator FARUQI (New South Wales) (14:22): My question is for the Minister representing the Minister for Education in the Senate. Minister, free child care has hugely benefited thousands of Australian families. While the package rolled out certainly had its faults and needed to be fixed, it was a signal that the government might start to recognise child care as an essential service which should be free and available to all and not just for those who can afford it.

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Greens Push To Support Unis Defeated By One Vote

The Australian Senate has narrowly voted down a Greens motion 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 vote was defeated 30 votes to 31.

The Greens, Labor and Centre Alliance voted for the motion; the government, One Nation and Senator Lambie opposed it.

Senator Faruqi said:

“Universities are being smashed during this pandemic and the government has refused to throw them a lifeline.

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Free Childcare Must Be Extended

Australian Greens Education spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has called on the Education Minister to extend the current free childcare arrangements.

The Minister is expected to announce the future of free childcare in the coming days, with the program currently due to expire on 28 June.

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Skills 'Overhaul' Without Free TAFE & New Funding Just Press Club Hot Air

The Greens have said that the Coalition government can’t be trusted to rebuild our vocational education system or create jobs, ahead of the Prime Minister’s address to the National Press Club today.

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

“Free TAFE and uni for all and new investment to rebuild publicly-delivered training in our TAFEs are the crucial first steps needed for any skills overhaul. That's the benchmark for the Prime Minister today.

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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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