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Lobbyists warn education reforms disadvantage older Australians

Independent Catholic lobby group PolMin supports Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson's education form package, but says it needs changes to avoid causing "further social and economic disadvantage", particularly for older Australians.

Dr Nelson unveiled the "comprehensive ten year plan" in May's Federal Budget. It is intended to create a "more diverse, equitable and high quality" higher education sector. But Federal Labor, the Greens and the Democrats have all opposed the plan, and the Federal Government's hopes for the plan to pass through Parliament rest with the four independent senators.

PolMin spokesperson James McGillicuddy said that in introducing the proposed reforms, the Minister explained to the House of Representatives the aim of enabling all Australians to achieve their potential through education.

"This follows Catholic social teaching which holds that the aim of education is for the development of the human person," he said. "However, John Paul II rightly identified in Laborem Exercens that ... newer and more highly qualified employees [can] displace the older and less qualified forcing the latter into lesser paid jobs."

"PolMin believes this is a real possibility, perhaps a probability, in the government's proposed reform package.

The Australian Political Ministry Network Ltd (PolMin) attempts to influence public policy for the common good in accordance with the principles of Catholic social teaching.


A better future for all Australians - record funding for education, science and training (13/5/03)
Politicians urged to reject uni reforms (ABC)

23 Sep 2003