Coalition’s university cuts start biting – La Trobe to sack 15% of its workforce

Australian Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon, has called on Education Minister Christopher Pyne to scrap his plans to deregulate the university sector following announcements of huge staff and course cuts at La Trobe University.
 
“Funding cuts under both Labor and Coalition governments have bled universities dry,” Senator Rhiannon said.
 
“The $65 million cuts announced at La Trobe will see 350 staff fired and the existing five faculties merged into two colleges.
 
“These funding cuts coupled with Mr Pyne’s attempt to deregulate the sector will have devastating effects on smaller and regional universities.
 
“Deregulation is opposed by students, staff and a number of university Vice-Chancellors. It should be scrapped.
 
“What we are seeing at La Trobe is likely to be the beginning of a huge overhaul to the higher education sector which is going to create a more unequal, elitist education system.

Public Money to Continue to Prop up Private Profits in North West Rail Link Announcement

Greens NSW MP and Spokesperson for Transport, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has commented on today's reports that the MTR Corporation consortium has won the bid to operate the North-West Rail Link, stating that it is the next step to lining the pockets of private companies and financiers.
 
"Today's announcement is the next step of the Government's agenda to privatise our public transport system.
 
"Having a privately run metro service which will only maximise profits on a monopoly line will be a recipe for disaster for Sydney's commuters.

All parties should back former Commissioner Ipp’s call for national ICAC

 The Australian Greens have called on all parties to support the call of the former head of the NSW ICAC for a national anti-corruption body to be set up with the powers of a royal commission (ABC Four Corners http://tinyurl.com/n26uovu)
 
“If Labor and the Coalition do not now back a national ICAC the obvious question will be what do they have to hide?” Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.
 
“The call by Mr David Ipp, recently retired ICAC Commissioner, for a national body similar to the NSW ICAC puts the heat on all politicians to back strong anti-corruption measures.
 
“An Australian Greens bill for a national Integrity Commissioner is before federal Parliament and as recently as last month Labor and the Abbott government joined forces to block a vote on it.

Concerns raised about the loss of experienced local homelessness services

People facing homelessness across the state could be left with services lacking the necessary experience and connections to the community under the NSW Government's recently announced funding packages, warns Jan Barham, Greens MP and spokesperson on Housing.
 
"I'm alarmed by what I'm hearing from service providers and community organisations across NSW. Helping people who are homeless or at risk at homelessness requires the expertise and trust that can only come from close engagement with local communities.