Smart and Skilled complex fee structure a barrier to entry to skills training

Documents obtained by the Greens reveal a mind-bogglingly complex fee structure for students under the Baird government's new funding arrangements for vocational education and training to commence 1 January 2015.

'Fee confusion a barrier to training', The Australian, 31 July 2014

Greens NSW MP John Kaye said: "NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli claims his Smart and Skilled training market will facilitate choice but he has been told by his own consultants that the complexity of the fee structures will make comparisons between providers very difficult.

"Any claims of student choice under Smart and Skilled have been made a complete mockery by the leaked report.

Premier must discipline Government MPs for politicising the tragic murder of environmental officer

There are calls today for the Premier to immediately discipline Nationals MP Andrew Fraser for publicly stating that the tragic and inexcusable murder of a state environmental officer was brought about by environmental laws.

Violence in politics, and violent responses to political or legal disputes, must never be condoned by any politician or political party.

Greens MP and Justice Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

“The Premier must immediately move to discipline government members who are using the violent killing of an environmental officer to champion their cause for weaker laws.

Evidence is now overwhelming, time for Pyne to drop changes

Responding to the release of a new paper on higher education policy by ANU academic Bruce Chapman, Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon said:

"Professor Chapman's paper reiterates the conclusions reached by similar analysis undertaken by the National Tertiary Education Union, the Greens and Universities Australia - Mr Pyne's changes to higher education funding will hit the poor and women the hardest.

"The evidence is now overwhelming - the government should immediately drop its proposed regressive changes to higher education funding.

McCloy High Court challenge a threat to NSW political integrity

The Greens NSW are concerned that Premier Mike Baird will fail to vigorously oppose Newcastle Mayor and developer Jeff McCloy's High Court challenge to the ban on developer donations.

Greens NSW MP John Kaye said, "The Mayor of Newcastle wants to take NSW back to the bad old days when developers were able to purchase approvals and laws that fattened up their profits at the expense of local communities.

"If the Baird Government fails to vigorously defend these laws, it will be very clear they are colluding with Jeff McCloy to reopen the doors of NSW politics to large scale influence peddling.

"As NSW heads to an election in which corruption and donations will be key issues, the Baird government's performance in defending these laws before the High Court will become a test of the Premier's resolution to clean up NSW.

Labor set to let down students by backing Coalition scholarship cut

Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said:

"Reports that Labor is going to vote with the Coalition to slash Start-Up scholarships and replace them with loans is alarming as the impact this will have on disadvantaged students and families will be severe.

"If Labor votes to end the $2050-a-year scholarship which helps students from - disadvantaged backgrounds as well rural and regional areas, they will be supporting the Coalition's brutal attack on students and public education.