THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
SENATOR THE HON DON FARRELL
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE
SHADOW SPECIAL MINISTER OF STATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR SPORT
SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTALIA
MISLEADING ADS: “I AM VERY COMFORTABLE” SAYS CHRISTOPHER PYNE
Christopher Pyne says he is “very comfortable” with his decision to spend $10 million of taxpayers’ money on advertisements about the Liberals’ university reforms, despite the national audit office finding them misleading, and government legal advice warning they might break the law.
When he was Education Minister, Mr Pyne signed off on the advertising which said “the Australian Government will continue to pay around half your undergraduate degree”.
At the time, he was also going around saying this to the media: “So students are going to be asked to pay 50 per cent of the cost of their education…I think that’s a fair deal…a 50-50 split sounds like a fair deal.”
That’s despite modelling from his own department showing that the Liberals’ university reforms would see the average Australian Government contribution for undergraduate degrees drop significantly, from around 60% to as low as 39.5%.
When asked about the misleading, potentially illegal advertisements on the ABC’s Insiders program this morning, Mr Pyne said:
“Sometimes they [the national audit office] get things right and sometimes they get things wrong. I am very comfortable.”
Rather than take responsibility for his deception, Mr Pyne is trying to blame the highly respected Australian National Audit Office. It’s disgraceful.
Mr Pyne must apologise to students, parents, and the Australian public.
Labor calls on the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, to explain how and why these misleading, potentially illegal advertisements were approved by the Liberals.