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THe Last Sentry at the Gate 1

Education Reform A free nation can rise no higher than the standard of excellence set in its schools and colleges. Lack of literacy, unskilled workers and school drop-outs, these are the failures of an educational system in the past. It’s time to invest in ourselves. If we don’t have confidence in ourselves, who will have confidence in us? Investing in the education of our children, our most valuable resource is not only good social policy, its good economic policy too. As part of this approach, Palmer United Party parliamentarians voted to ensure that cuts to university equity programs, research grants and training schemes (through the Higher Education Efficiency Bill) did not take place. Further to this, Palmer United Party opposed the de-regulation of University fees that would see students burdened with higher debt to receive their university education. Clive Palmer worked hard to ensure education is affordable for our University students right across Australia. The party also opposed the Federal Government’s intention to cease payments to orphans of members of the Defence Forces killed in action through the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Education and Training Scheme, (a requirement of the Government’s proposed abolition of the Mining Tax) which did not pass. Migration & Refugees Clive Palmer leading the Palmer United Party made a clear stance on refugee and asylum seekers in the lead up to the Federal Election in 2013. Not only did he highlight the need for compassion for those being inhumanely treated, he also highlighted the significant cost of the government continuing with its offshore processing centres. The party wanted to see a common sense approach policy for refugees and those seeking asylum in Australia. The key policy stated that we believed in revising the current Australian Government’s Refugee Policy to ensure Australia is protected and refugees are given opportunities for a better future and lifestyle. The party proposed solutions that recommended onshore processing to reduce costs and allow the humane and efficient treatment of those seeking to enter the country. During the first term of parliament, Clive Palmer & the Palmer United Party Senators highlighted our position to oppose the inhumane treatment of, and economically costly policies towards, refugees and asylum seekers, which were adopted by both the Government and Opposition. We ensured the Government stopped transferring boat arrivals from July 2013 from Australia’s mainland and Christmas Island detention centres to Nauru or Manus Island for offshore processing whilst also securing the Government’s guarantee to move all 1,550 detainees, including 32 unaccompanied minors and 436 children and their families, who were on Christmas Island to mainland Australia for processing. The party was instrumental in re-establishing Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs) whilst creating the new Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV), which is available for up to 5 years to those found to be refugees. The SHEV provides a common sense solution to processing those in detention and allows work and study rights, requires those approved to live and work in designated regions to fill regional job vacancies, allows application for other on-shore visas such as family, skilled and student visas, after 3.5 years of not accessing welfare, and would not be subject to a capping of numbers by the Minister. The continued hard work and effort by the Palmer United Party team ensured that Australia's refugee intake would The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia 59


THe Last Sentry at the Gate 1
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