The head of the Abbott government's Commission of Audit, Tony Shepherd, has hit back at hostile community responses to the budget.
Friday 23 May 2014

Uni students 'misguided' says Pyne

Education Minister Christopher Pyne says university students are spreading a great deal of misinformation about the federal government's education reforms.
University students are misguided about the federal government's education reforms, Education Minister Christopher Pyne says."University students will not be paying double the fees they are paying now," he told Fairfax Radio Network on Friday...

Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann have defended their budget amid continuing pressure from the opposition and community groups angry at planned budget cuts.

"Australians know if we don't take strong, decisive action to fix the budget then the cost of the repair job in future will be far greater," Mr Hockey said.

But the opposition has lashed out at the proposed budget measures, saying they will oppose measures such as the $7 GP fee.

"They're completely out of touch and arrogant," opposition Treasury spokesman Chris Bowen said of the federal government.

The spposition has refused to say whether they will block the government's proposed deficit levy in the Senate.

"We will be constructive as we can be, we won't be taking the wrecking approach," Opposition Treasury spokesman Chris Bowen told reporters in Brisbane.

Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann have defended their budget amid continuing pressure from the opposition and community groups angry at planned budget cuts.

 

"Australians know if we don't take strong, decisive action to fix the budget then the cost of repair job in future will be far greater," Mr Hockey said.

 

But the opposition has lashed out at the proposed budget measures, saying they will oppose measures such as the $7 GP fee.

 

"They're completely out of touch and arrogant," opposition Treasury spokesman Chris Bowen said of the federal government.

 

The spposition has refused to say whether they will block the government's proposed deficit levy in the Senate.

 

"We will be constructive as we can be, we won't be taking the wrecking approach," Opposition Treasury spokesman Chris Bowen told reporters in Brisbane.

Health Minister Peter Dutton has defended the federal government's plan to introduce a $7 Medicare co-payment.

"We consider it is a fair contribution. It represents a balance between introducing a price signal and maintaining access for ppl who need care," he said in an address to the Australian Medical Association in Canberra.

The head of the Abbott government's Commission of Audit, Tony Shepherd, has hit back at hostile community responses to the budget.

THe Audit of Commission handed down a report earlier this month that informed the federal budget.

Tony Shepherd says that criticism of the budget has been unjustified, adding that no single sector had yet accepted the need for everyone to sacrifice.

"I think it's a sad reflection on the modern Australian attitude that they can't see that all areas have to make a contribution and they look at it as a narrow, sectional issue," he told Fairfax Media.

"People will protect their sectional interest, that's understandable, but I wish people could also stand back, look at the overall picture of the Commonwealth budget and rather than say 'don't touch me', say 'what can be our contribution to a sustainable surplus'."

A scholarship awarded to Frances Abbott was based on merit and academic potential, says her father Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has defended his daughter's scholarship from a design college chaired by a Liberal Party donor and friend.Frances Abbott's scholarship at the Whitehouse Institute of Design has not been declared on her father's pecuniary...

Student protesters have rejected suggestions that scuffles with police were counterproductive to the campaign against education budget cuts.

And they have vowed to continue to hold rallies opposing the plan to deregulate university fees.

It comes after protesting students clashed with police overnight at a Liberal Party event at the University of Sydney.

Dozens of students protesting against education budget cuts were waiting when Education Minister Christopher Pyne arrived at the university's St John's College to adjudicate at a university Liberal Club debate.

Protesters tried unsuccessfully to get inside the building, some scuffling with police at the entrance and being pushed forcefully away as officers shouted at them to get back.

Several protesters have been arrested.

"The majority of Australia hates the budget and I think resistance to the budget - whether it takes the form the Marches in May or the student protests or the direct actions - they have all received widespread support," Ridah Hassan told the ABC.

"And we're pretty confident that the people of Aust will support us because we've all got something to lose by the Liberals taking power. We've all got something to lose in this budget."

Meanwhile, Christopher Pyne has attacked the media for focusing on student protests rather than on the Abbott Government's changes to education.

"The media are much more interested in the story about protesting students and people being arrested and dragged off by police officers than they are in genuine policy reform.

"That's why the Minister for Education mustn't allow the Government to become distracted by what is essentially sound and fury of students who've been waiting six years to protest against a Coalition Government."

Thursday 22 May 2014

Protesting students have clashed with police at a Liberal event at Sydney University attended by Education Minister Christopher Pyne.

Dozens of students protesting against education budget cuts were waiting when Mr Pyne arrived at the university's St John's College on Thursday evening to adjudicate at a university Liberal Club debate.

Protesters tried unsuccessfully to get inside the building, some scuffling with police at the entrance and being pushed forcefully away as officers shouted at them to "get back".

The event took place a day after Mr Pyne and Prime Minister Tony Abbott cancelled a Deakin University appearance because of security concerns.

Vice-president of the University of Sydney Union and Greens member Tom Raue was with the crowd.

The 23-year-old said students were angry with the "appalling" budget and wanted to remind Liberals that the cuts would not go unnoticed by "working class and vulnerable people".

"Students are going to fight back against the budget and disrupt (Liberals) wherever they go," he told AAP.

He criticised police for being "quite violent" but acknowledged no arrests had been made.

The Sydney University Liberal Club condemned the "violent riot" in a statement on Facebook.

President Alex Dore blamed "extremist" students for interrupting the club's annual John Howard Debating Cup.

They had nothing better to do than to disrupt civil debate with their militant tactics, he said.

"The extreme left students chants of `Chris Pyne f*** you', `Pyne is a w***er' is offensive and has no place in civil society."

By 8.30pm, 15 protesters remained outside the college, waiting for Mr Pyne to come out while around 35 police were scattered around the building, guarding its exits.

Mr Pyne left the event in his Commonwealth car to chants of "shame" and "no cuts, no fees, no corporate universities".

Upper house NSW Liberal MP Peter Phelps, who attended the debate, said the protest was "pretty pathetic".

"When they can only get 40 or 50 people out the front with loudhailers, then it's a pretty sad state of affairs really," Dr Phelps told AAP.