National Schools Funding
May 10, 2017
I think we all agree this is quite an outrageous MPI that we are wasting our time on today.
I think we all know there are no cuts, none. We are moving away from overfunded, bloated schools—many on the East Coast—that have had it too good for too long and giving back to those schools, in particular in Western Australia and South Australia, that those opposite have ignored for too long.
We on this side are going to fix the mess.
There is a lot of negativity coming from those on the other side despite the fact that we here are talking about significant funding in schools.
We heard the deputy minister talk previously of a total of $233 billion in total school funding between 2018 and 2027.
I do not know about you but that is a big number and I think that is something we should be celebrating.
But I think we all know why those opposite are negative.
It must infuriate the Labor Party that they failed to deliver a proper needs based education system model.
But we on this side, the coalition, are managing to do it, and I dare them not to support these changes.
It must infuriate the member for Sydney and her colleagues opposite that the special deals that the Labor Party were able to cut to let some of the schools off the hook and not require hard choices to be made are now going to be made by us on this side; it must stick in their core.
The Labor Party and the member for Sydney talk about their Gonski model, their needs based funding model. They do not have one. I thought they liked Mr Gonski.
Obviously they do not like him any more.
They do not give a Gonski anymore They cut special deals all over the country so they would not need to roll out a needs based funding model.
My state of Western Australia was the big loser.
It takes a mature, responsible government like us on this side to make the hard decisions and to allocate money to those people who need it most.
We heard previously that there were some 27 special deals cut by those opposite, and they sold out West Australian children.
They underfunded the entire state and used that money to cut special deals predominantly on the east coast.
Currently regional West Australian schools receive: middle-of-the-road federal funding if they are a Catholic school—that is pretty good; they are the second-lowest funding level if they are an independent school—not great; and they are the lowest if they are a government school—that is disgraceful, and we are going to fix this mess.
Under Western Australia's guidance, when Colin Barnett was running the show, the West Australian government contributed more to public education than any other state in Australia and should be commended for that but it had to step in because the federal government had not contributed what it was required to do, and this is exactly what this package is designed to correct.
It is disgraceful that the Labor Party are not getting behind this package, and are instead reverting to their old scare campaign tactics to discredit this government and this fabulous reform.
This model provides a tangible boost to regional education and regional schools, and that is simply a fact.
I have a nice list in front of me of some of the schools in my electorate—they are all going to better off, but I just want to give you an example of what 10-year funding will approximately be in my seat of Durack:
·$5 million, Bruce Rock District High School
·$12.4 million, St Lawrence School in Bluff Point, Geraldton
·$11.3 million, St Mary's Star of the Sea, Carnarvon
·$7.1 million, Kununurra District High School
·$6.2 million, Yiramalay/Wesley Studio School, Fitzroy Crossing
·$2.7 million, Mount Magnet District High School.
It is a very long list, and I will not bore you with them all.
They are all really important schools doing great work, and I am very proud that that is the money that we are going to commit to them over the next 10 years.
But we know it is not just money that we should be focused on. We also know that we need to talk about quality education for all Australian children.
That is why the second Gonski, Gonski No. 2, will investigate how we can improve our system to ensure that every Australian child gets a better education.
With the time I have got left, I want to give a big shout out to the fact we have committed $15 million to expanding the Geraldton Universities Centre model, which is a fantastic model for regional students.
It enables young people to stay at home.
It alleviates the financial stress on families because young people can actually stay at home and get their education.
I hope we can expand that into places like the Goldfields, where my friend, the member for O'Connor is, and the Kimberley and the Pilbara.
I am very proud of that.
In closing, I would like to say to my friends opposite: please, vote for helping the communities in rural and remote Western Australia.
My Labor colleagues on the other side from Western Australia, I plead with you to please put your support behind this.
Vote for needs-based funding— (Time expired)