Tony Abbott with daughter Frances FILE
Tony Abbott with daughter Frances FILE

Frances Abbott used by school to lobby government: report

NEW revelations in the saga involving a prestigious design school and Prime Minister Tony Abbott's daughter Frances show she was used to lobby a government agency.

New Matilda is reporting Frances Abbott was chosen by the Whitehouse Institute of Design to lobby the federal government for course accreditations worth millions based on her "merit" while a student.

Ms Abbott landed in the news cycle after word of her $60,000 scholarship to the school was leaked to the media.

Students other than Ms Abbott were not made aware of the scholarship even existing.

The Prime Minister did not include the scholarship on his Parliamentary gift register.

Mr Abbott said his daughter won the scholarship entirely on merit.

He said on Friday the allegations were driven by an "obsession" by media.

The latest details appear to show Ms Abbott was one of a select few chosen out of 400 applicants to be interviewed by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency.

TEQSA would be responsible for deciding on an application put in by Whitehouse to launch a new course.

The school has denied any wrongdoing.

It follows reports Ms Abbott paid just $7500 for her $68,000 degree.

The revelations come as the Prime Minister begins the fight to pass his first Budget in Parliament sittings this week.

The budget reforms include measures that will force students to pay more towards their tuition.


Tony Abbott defends daughter Frances : Prime Minister Tony Abbott tells reporters "families should be off limits" after questions raised about a scholarship given to his daughter Frances on Friday May 23.