THE HON BARNABY JOYCE
Deputy Prime Minister
Member for New England
SENATOR THE HON SIMON BIRMINGHAM
Minister for Education and Training
Senator for South Australia
An additional $423 million for New England Electorate schools is one step closer after the Turnbull/Joyce Government’s Gonski needs-based funding plan passed the House of Representatives.
Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said the Turnbull Government’s needs-based funding reforms had been endorsed by David Gonski himself and would see local schools each get an average 54.4 per cent boost over the next ten years.
“We’re one step closer to realising David Gonski’s vision for true, sector-blind needs-based funding for Australia’s schools,” Mr Joyce said.
“I was stunned to see the Labor Party oppose the additional investment for schools. After years of claiming they supported needs-based funding they’re now turning their backs on a plan endorsed by David Gonski himself.
“Every Labor Member should hang their heads in shame. Their vote says they think New England schools don’t deserve any more funding. In fact, in some of our neighbouring electorates, 81 schools in Member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon’s electorate would miss out on an average $4 million each if Labor had their way.
“We’re acting to clean up the 27 special deals the former Labor Government left us with that Gonski Review panellist Dr Ken Boston said “corrupted” needs-based funding.
“While there has been a lot of misinformation being spread by some special interest groups about our Gonski schools funding plan, families and schools can see exactly how they stand to benefit from our plan for themselves by visiting www.education.gov.au/qualityschools and clicking through to the schools funding estimator that uses official data.”
Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the Turnbull/Joyce Government’s plan had been backed by parent and educator groups from various states and sectors, by independent think tanks like the Grattan Institute and the Mitchell Institute and by David Gonski himself.
“I welcome the commentary and support from different quarters that aren’t tainted by special interest as well as the open-minded and engaging approach of the Senate crossbench. Their approach stands in stark contrast to the hypocrisy, crass negativity and outright lies being told by Labor.
“Labor has proposed no alternative except to continue the status quo of 27 special deals that distort needs-based funding and throwing more money at the situation which currently sees a disadvantaged student in one state get up to $2,100.
“The Labor Party needs to explain why they voted to see Government schools receive at most 4.7 per cent legislated funding growth compared to the Coalition’s plan for 5.1 per cent average annual increases and why, after invoking his name for years, they are going against David Gonski's endorsement of the Coalition’s plan?”
For further details of the Turnbull Government’s Quality Schools reform package are available at: www.education.gov.au/qualityschools