Education Minister Christopher Pyne has vowed he will never give up trying to overhaul the higher education system, despite his contentious legislation facing another defeat in the Senate.
Mr Pyne yesterday announced he had separated legislation to uncap university fees from funding cuts to the sector, in order to try to clinch crucial senate support.
But the move has failed to sway key crossbenchers who remain opposed to university deregulation.
However, Mr Pyne said he remained determined.
“I never give up, no, I will not give up. It’s too important,” he told Channel Nine this morning.
“It’s too important to allow the Labor Party who are political opportunists and the Greens who are the same, to wreck this reform.”
The Government needed the support of six out of the eight crossbench senators to pass its legislation through the Upper House, but the Minister conceded he was unlikely to succeed.
“It’s looking that way and that’s very disappointing because I’m very committed to these higher education reforms, as is the Government,” he told Radio National Breakfast.
Today Mr Pyne planned to meet independent senator David Leyonhjelm, who supported deregulation but still had concerns.
“If the vote was held today and nothing had changed, I’d be voting against it,” Senator Leyonhjelm said.
Labor, the Greens and several independents were still opposed to fee deregulation, including Motoring Enthusiast Party Senator Ricky Muir.
The legislation is expected to be debated in the Senate later today.