For the second time since I have been elected to this place, I rise to speak to the Liberal and National parties' Higher Education and Research Reform Bill 2014. Even with the government's latest policy backflip, for the second time I inform this Senate that I will strongly oppose this legislation. The Abbott government have deliberately and slyly ambushed the Australian people with their proposed changes to university funding and proposed increases to university fees. It is a cowardly and callous pattern of political behaviour that has been repeated in other policy areas, including cuts to health funding which are designed to burn down Medicare; cuts to pensions by linking pension increases to the CPI; increasing the pension age to 70 from 2035; effective cuts to ADF members' pay entitlements; effective cuts to the Australian war veterans' pensions; and effective cuts to their entitlements.
My interview with 7.30 Report today