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Marriage Equality and Sexuality Update - January 2016

Robert Simms 20 Jan 2016

This edition of the Marriage Equality and Sexuality Update e-newsletter covers Senator Simms' first speech, the Greens' Wedding Crashers campaign for a free vote on marriage equality, Minus18's Same-Sex and Gender Diverse Formal, access to PrEP, overturning the ban on blood donation, and more. Simply click the link below to download the PDF.

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Greens call on government to rule out lowering HECS threshold

Robert Simms 15 Jan 2016

The Greens have called on Education Minister Simon Birmingham to rule out lowering the HELP (HECS) repayment threshold following media reports the idea is being considered.

"HECS debt can take a significant slice out of your income. Lowering the repayment threshold will place an increased burden on low income earners at a time when cuts to penalty rates and an increase in the GST are already on the table," said Greens Higher Education Spokesperson, Robert Simms.

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NSW must prioritise TAFE funding

Robert Simms 13 Jan 2016

The Australian Greens have called on the NSW Government to stop pulling stunts with the state's TAFE sector and prioritise its funding.

"Freezing TAFE fees will not bring students back. Enrolments are already down dramatically and a fee freeze is nothing but a desperate stop-gap measure," The Greens spokesperson on Higher Education, Senator Robert Simms said.

"Cuts and fee increases from the NSW Government have contributed to driving people away from TAFE and it is imperative that we reverse these cuts, challenge the contestability model and adequately fund the sector.

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NSW must prioritise TAFE funding

Robert Simms 13 Jan 2016

The Australian Greens have called on the NSW Government to stop pulling stunts with the state's TAFE sector and prioritise its funding.

"Freezing TAFE fees will not bring students back. Enrolments are already down dramatically and a fee freeze is nothing but a desperate stop-gap measure," The Greens spokesperson on Higher Education, Senator Robert Simms said.

"Cuts and fee increases from the NSW Government have contributed to driving people away from TAFE and it is imperative that we reverse these cuts, challenge the contestability model and adequately fund the sector.

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NSW should prioritise TAFE over a shambolic for-profit VET sector

Robert Simms 14 Dec 2015

The Australian Greens have warned NSW against stripping funding to TAFEs across the state, warning similar collapses could happen like those interstate.

The Greens spokesperson on High Education, Senator Robert Simms, questioned why the NSW Government would make such a decision when the for-profit VET sector is in such a shambles.

"The for-profit VET sector is currently in a deep state of disrepair in NSW and across the country. Indeed, the NSW Government has deregistered eight companies this year for malpractice," Senator Simms said.

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New funding welcome but concerns remain over commercial engagement

Robert Simms 7 Dec 2015

The Greens welcome Malcolm Turnbull's commitment to university research, but are concerned about the increased focus on industry engagement with universities in the Government's announcement.

The Government today announced its intention to consolidate all Research Block Grants into two streams and that research funding from these grants would be increasingly allocated to an industry engagement metric to be developed by the ARC.

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Innovation statement wasted opportunity for electric cars in SA

 Australian Greens Senator for South Australia, Robert Simms, has decried the lack of funding for electric vehicles in South Australia as a wasted opportunity in the government's innovation statement today.

"The Turnbull Government's lack of funding in today's innovation statement for electric vehicles and green cars is a huge oversight," Senator Simms said.

"The electric and sustainable car industry is set to be worth upwards of $500 billion globally by 2025, and government support would help propel Australia as a key player.

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