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March 30, 2009 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Success in the Great Tolley Hunt

The Great Tolley Hunt has finally achieved some success thanks to Jackson Wood, editor of Salient.

Salient managed to do what all of us in student media had thought impossible, and get Tertiary Education Minister Anne Tolley to respond—sorta—to some questions.

Tolley told Salient that she “hadn’t had any involvement in student politics,” a concerning admission worsened by the fact that she hasn’t attended university. In fact, the sum of our Tertiary Education Minister’s tertiary education was a belly dancing course and a computer programming course from several decades ago.

Wood credits “total disorganisation” as a factor in the Minister’s responses.

“Have you ever got that feeling when you’re talking to a group of people and you suddenly realise that you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about? I think she is experiencing something like that,” said Wood.

National’s policies concerning tertiary education have done little to prove that Tolley understands the complexities of the university system.

“The government’s current focus is on how the tertiary system can react to the difficult economic circumstances the country is faced with,” Tolley said.

Wood also suggested that National’s policies around tertiary education would not be good for students. He went on to name areas where help is most needed but National have so far ignored, such as the $10 billion student debt and lack of decent housing and employment for students.

This leaves an impression of a woman out of her depth, trying to cope with huge ministerial responsibilities. Is that what’s behind her reticence when it comes to talking to the ones most affected by her portfolio? Or does she just have nothing to say?


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