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In the media: Pyne reflects on Senate ‘difficulties for good policymaking’

The Australian, 29 Apr 2015

By Julie Hare

An enduring lesson from Robert Menzies is that good processes in public policymaking are essential if parliament is to work as well as possible, Education Minister Christopher Pyne will tell a gathering in Melbourne tonight.

And despite troubles getting his higher education reform package passed by the Senate, Mr Pyne maintains it “contained huge benefits for students”.

Delivering the annual Sir Robert Menzies lecture at the Windsor Hotel, Mr Pyne will say that as a cabinet minister he has “actively sought to make my own contribution to ensuring good process in policy formulation, including through the various consultative and review processes I have initiated”.

“I have learned something of the difficulties for good policymaking from the composition and conduct of the current Australian Senate, as you may imagine,” Mr Pyne will say.

While Mr Pyne gives no indication of where his higher education reform package may head, he does ponder briefly on the past year.

“The scare campaign run against the reforms was essentially dishonest, vastly exaggerating the levels of fees that students would face and falsely suggesting they would need to pay upfront,” he will say.

“Instead they hint now at a return to the days when Canberra controlled both how many places a university may offer and how much they can charge, a system Julia Gillard and many others in the Labor Party rightly recognised had to change.” The Education Minister also reflects on his passion for the international education sector, saying international students contribute to Australia’s cultural enrichment, build goodwill in the region and beyond and contribute to the nation’s intellectual capital.

However, he will make no mention of recent media reports that have cast a negative light on aspects of the sector, including cheating, document forgery, bribery and corruption.

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Source: The Australian

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