SENATE DOORS, PARLIAMENT HOUSE
THURSDAY, 12 FEBRUARY 2015
SUBJECT/S: $100,000 Degrees; children in immigration detention report.
Senator Polley: In relation to higher education, Labor will do everything in its power to stop these changes. Labor does not support $100,000 degrees. From my experience as a Tasmanian Senator I know what the people of my home state are saying. I know what families are saying. They are currently trying to add up how much it is going to cost them to enable their children to go to university. In Tasmania, we have a poor rate of tertiary education. We should be putting more money into ensuring young people have the opportunity to go to university. Going to university should not be based on whether a family has a limit on their credit card.
Journalist: What do you make of this dinner? Will it make a difference? This has been stalled for months and months.
Senator Polley: I think it demonstrates once again how chaotic this government is. They have tried to pass a budget they have not been able to get through. When it comes to higher education they will do whatever deals they think will get their budget and these changes through. But once again, Labor is prioritising higher education. This legislation is not in the interests of Australian families. Why should a family have to choose whether one out of their two children goes to university or not? If you have three children why shouldn’t they all have the opportunity to go to university? So going out and having dinner, smooching up to Clive Palmer shows this week they will do whatever it takes to stay in government and will back Tony Abbott. His time is limited. Labor is focused on their unfair Budget that is having an impact on everyday Australian families and their cost of living and other issues. But we will not be supporting any deal.
Journalist: If a deal is done, it wouldn’t be the first time Clive Palmer has back flipped on a government measure. Is Clive Palmer just playing everyone?
Senator Polley: It is shrewd what he has been able to achieve in the Senate but let’s not forget it was this government that backflipped. It was this government that brought down a cruel budget. It was this government that is trying to make higher education unattainable for low income families. This is on the government’s head. Some of my constituents have been calling me and emailing me and their take on what has been happening is that the circus is in town. It is just another example of this government’s chaos. The deals they will do. The length they will go to, to make these deals.
Journalist: Do you think the report into detention is worrying?
Senator Polley: We will go through the report line by line. But, the best way we can help children is to process them as quickly as possible and get them out of detention.