Questions on notice from the Department of Education reveal that Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne are withholding $1.1 million from Federation University Australia in Ballarat – money it should have been paid more than a year ago.
Overall the Abbott Government is withholding $129 million in funding from Australian universities, leaving them with a budget balancing act while they wait for payment.
The Liberals are withholding the money from universities even though they have never put the necessary legislation to a vote in the Senate because they know it would be defeated.
Millions of dollars have also been withheld from Australian Catholic University and Melbourne University, both of which have campuses in the Ballarat electorate.
The Liberals’ plan for $100,000 degrees and 20 per cent funding cuts is still on the table, and still in the Budget.
That plan was put to the Senate – and was voted down twice.
Now it is time for the Abbott Government to go back to the drawing board and come up with a positive policy for the future of Australian higher education and regional universities.