Nikolic fails Bass with Abbott's university debt sentence

Federal Member for Bass Andrew Nikolic has failed to successfully lobby Prime Minister Abbott on behalf of his constituency.

Minister for Education Christopher Pyne yesterday introduced the Government’s Higher Education Reform Bill, ripping $5.8 billion out of Australian universities, increasing student fees and charging compounding interest of up to 6 per cent.

Last Thursday, 21 August, at a public forum held at Launceston College Mr Nikolic voiced his concerns over real interest rates on student loans during a higher education debate.

“Mr Nikolic said at last week’s debate that he had ‘lobbied the Prime Minister’ to remove real interest rates from this higher education package,” Ms Rishworth said.

“Yet this is a key component of the Government’s legislation which was introduced into Parliament this morning.

“Either Mr Nikolic didn’t lobby the Prime Minister hard enough, or failed in his capacity as the Federal Member for Bass.

“The people of Bass deserve a local Member who will stand up to the Prime Minister on important local issues, but Mr Nikolic doesn’t appear to be up to the job.”

Senator Polley said the Palmer United Party looked like having more influence with the Prime Minister than a member of his own Government as crossbench negotiations continue behind closed doors.

“Mr Nikolic should today show his mettle and confront the Prime Minister about the Government’s unfair student debt indexation,” Senator Polley said.

“Mr Nikolic owes it to the people of Bass to fight this reform, even if the Prime Minister places more importance on the opinion of the PUP Senators”.