Higher education bill facing senate delays

Education minister Christopher Pyne’s second attempt to push through his higher education reforms faces significant delays in the senate with Labor and the Greens planning to again refer the bill to a committee inquiry. The inquiry would also scrutinise the government’s A$8 million (US$6.6 million) “information” campaign promoting the reforms that the opposition has condemned as political advertising, writes Andrew Trounson for The Australian.

An extended inquiry could leave the legislation still in Senate limbo by the end of the parliamentary session that runs from February through March. The last inquiry took two months.

Pyne’s spokesman condemned the Labor and Greens plan as a “political stunt” and said the government remained confident of winning support from senate crossbenchers in time to meet the January 2016 start date for fee deregulation. While two universities have already flagged their planned fee increases come 2016 and the rest likely have contingency plans, an extended delay could put pressure on Pyne to put off the start date to give universities and students more time to adapt.
Full report on The Australian site