If it’s been a ragged week for Prime Minister Tony Abbott; it’s certainly been a pretty sh*tty day.
An attempt to hit the reset button yesterday has apparently failed, as our PM kicked off his morning being torn to shreds by our favourite feminist/Today host Karl Stefanovik.
Alas, the worst wasn’t over for poor Tones with the Senate this afternoon rejecting the Federal Government’s push to deregulate universities – a move which would have allowed them to set their own fees. Labor and the Greens had warned that this new law would see the introduction of $100,000 degrees and create a university sector based on wealth and not merit.
Oh no – voted down! Say it isn’t so! (Read: WOOHOO!)
Education Minister Christopher Pyne, probably not having a great day.
Despite pleas from the Government and the promise of several last minute amendments, the Bill was voted down 33 to 31, according to ABC news.
The Palmer United Party (PUP) refused to support the reforms, as did newly independent senator Jacqui Lambie and always independent senator Nick Xenophon. Before voting PUP senator Glenn Lazarus said that “no amount of “texting, chocolates and red roses from Christopher Pyne” were going to woo him to vote in favour of the bill he’d previously touted as “bad to the core”.
The Greens and Labor have welcomed the defeat of the changes, but the Government – and you have to admire their perseverance to make education unaffordable, here – have not been deterred, vowing to introduce new legislation into the Lower House.
“It is disappointing that Labor and the Greens voted to shut down Senate debate on the Government’s higher education package before amendments could be considered,” Mr Pyne said in a statement.
“However the Government will not be deterred and will move to introduce a new higher education reform package into the House of Representatives.
“It will be passed and sent to the Senate early next year. Great reform takes time.”
Better luck next time Mr Pyne.