Labor backflips on red tape reform

Media Release
  • Minister for Education
  • Leader of the House

Labor has performed a spectacular backflip in the Senate today by referring a Bill to Committee for three months that implements key recommendations of a report they both commissioned and warmly welcomed when in Government.

The TEQSA Amendment Bill, now referred to committee, implements the key recommendations of the Lee Dow and Braithwaite Review of Higher Education Regulation.

The recommendations seek to address over-regulation in the sector by making important reforms to TEQSA. The Tertiary Education Quality Standard Agency (TEQSA) Amendment Bill and the changes it seeks to implement have been warmly welcomed across the higher education sector.

This review was both commissioned by the former government and welcomed by Senator Kim Carr when he was Minister for Higher Education.

Kim Carr has clearly stated of the Lee Dow and Braithwaite report:

“It is an informative, evidence-based response and it seeks to promote the sector's aspirations and interests, within the bounds of the public's expectations.”
“I believe they have delivered a fair, judicious and balanced appraisal of the challenges confronting higher education providers in Australia.”
Kim Carr, The Australian, August 5, 2013

The Minister for Education, the Hon Christopher Pyne, said the referral to a committee for over three months was an unnecessary delay and a highly irresponsible move by Labor.

“Labor already has form on performing backflips on their previous policies, refusing to pass their own proposed and budgeted savings measures.

“Now they have locked up in committee for three months reform measures which they welcomed when in government,” Mr Pyne said.

“Kim Carr and Labor are needlessly holding up an important reform to TEQSA which has been widely applauded across the sector,” he said.

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