Students and schools in the New England electorate will benefit from the Abbott Government’s record recurrent funding investment of $64.5 billion in schools over the next four years.
“This government has matched funding for schools over the four year forward estimates as promised at the election and has increased its investment by adding $1.2 billion more than the previous government,” Barnaby Joyce said.
“The Abbott Government is honouring its commitment to education. The commitments we made at the election are fully funded, ensuring no additional pressure on the Budget.
“This decision honours the commitment of the Government to the Australian people.
“I am proud to be part of a government that is committed to increasing Commonwealth spending to schools over 4 years,” Mr Joyce said.
Mr Joyce said the Coalition has also kept its election commitment to invest $243.8 million over 4 years to revitalise the School Chaplaincy Programme.
“I am particularly pleased the Chaplaincy Programme has been returned to its original intent of funding school chaplains only.
“I encourage all schools in the New England Electorate to apply for funding which offers up to $20,000 per year to support a chaplain, and up to $24,000 per year in remote areas.
Other elements of the Coalition’s record spending in education include:
$5 million over 4 years to help ensure more students study science, technology, engineering and mathematics in primary and secondary schools through the Primary Connections: Linking science with literacy and Science by Doing science education programmes.
$11.6 million to improve uptake of languages other than English including: providing $9.8 million for the Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) trial; and $1.8 million for the development of new curricula under the Australian Curriculum, for Foundation to Year 10.
“To put students first this Government will now focus on what works to improve student results,” Mr Joyce said.
“Students do best in schools that have autonomy, great teachers, effective curriculum, and greater parental engagement, which is what this Government is delivering under its Students First initiative.”
“These measures will encourage students to develop practical, targeted skills that help them compete in the global jobs economy.”
“As a result of Labor’s poor Budget management, wasteful spending and increasing debt, Australia has been living beyond its means,” Mr Joyce said.
“However the Abbott Government remains committed to making child care more affordable, flexible and accessible for Australia’s working families, especially those in regional areas.
“The Government will invest around $28.5 billion in child care fee assistance for families over the next four years. And many millions of that will go to assist families in our community.
“I am especially pleased that the Government has been able to meet its commitment to restore $12.6 million in Occasional Care funding cut by the previous Labor Government.
“This programme provides a vital service for many families who need emergency or late notice care. This will particularly benefit rural, regional and remote families who often need this type of care due to seasonal work such as harvesting and shearing.
“Despite the fiscal constraints the Government is facing, this is a good Budget which takes Commonwealth investment in schools to new record highs, and continues to provide billions in support of families with children.
“The Budget is part of the Government’s Economic Action Strategy to build a strong, prosperous economy and a safe, secure Australia.
“The Australian people have said they want a government that would fix the Budget and strengthen the economy. That is what we are doing,” Mr Joyce said.