Science, research & jobs threatened by Pyne's Parliamentary blackmail

Greens Deputy Leader and science, research and innovation spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today said that world-class research facilities around the country and about 1700 jobs face the axe from June 30 this year under Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s desperate attempt to pass his Higher Education bill by blackmailing the Senate.

“Education Minister Christopher Pyne is blackmailing the Parliament, saying that unless the Parliament passes his plan to increase university fees, he’ll take the axe to science and research facilities in this country,” Mr Bandt said.

“It’s like saying the government is not going to fund schools unless the GP fee gets passed. The two areas are unconnected.”

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Senate builds pressure on government over minimum wage and penalty rates

The Senate today backed a Greens push to remove the minimum wage and penalty rates from the Productivity Commission’s workplace relations review, building pressure on the Abbott government to declare its hand on the issues, said Greens Deputy Leader and spokesperson for workplace relations Adam Bandt MP.

“Last week, Minister Abetz declared the government would not touch the minimum wage or penalty rates after the next election and that he was ‘surprised’ the Productivity Commission was looking at the issues,” said Mr Bandt.

“Minister Abetz can’t feign surprise at the Productivity Commission inquiry into the minimum wage but then let that part of the inquiry continue.”

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ADF pay deal must flow onto public sector: Greens

Tony Abbott’s offer of real pay rises to ADF personnel must be the start of a new approach to public sector bargaining, said Greens’ Employment spokesperson Adam Bandt MP.

“If the government can give real pay rises to ADF personnel, which we welcome, the government can do it in the public service too,” Mr Bandt said.

“The Abbott government has been pushing cuts in real wages and conditions for public servants, resulting in unprecedented levels of industrial action.”

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Parliament rejects Abbott R&D cuts

Greens Deputy Leader and science and research spokesperson, Adam Bandt MP, has today welcomed the Senate’s rejection of $620 million in cuts to research and development outlined in last year’s Budget.

The 1.5% cut to R&D tax offset contained in Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2014 Measures No. 5) Bill 2014 was removed from the bill by the Senate late last night.

“This is a big win for science and research and a big win for business”, said Mr Bandt.

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Barnaby Joyce redfaced on giant Chinese coal mine set to go ahead in his electorate

Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce was embarrassed in Question Time today when Deputy Greens Leader Adam Bandt MP asked him whether the giant Chinese-owned Shenhua Watermark coal mine set to go ahead in his own electorate demonstrates the failure of the National Party to stand up for farmers against the mining industry.

“Today Barnaby Joyce revealed that when it comes to protecting some of Australia’s most fertile farmland, he is all talk and no action,” Mr Bandt said.

“The Minister seems to listen more to his big mining friends than the people he was elected to represent."

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