Prime Minister corrects Plibersek on school funding in New England

23 May 2017



Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has corrected the Labor deception on school funding in the New England Electorate after a question by Shadow Minister for Education Tanya Plibersek during Question Time in Federal Parliament today.


Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, welcomed the response by the Prime Minister to the question by the Shadow Education Minister saying that figures Labor referred to were promised under the previous government but were never going to be funded, and the Coalition Government had committed to a responsible “needs-based” funding model.


“The Shadow Minister for Education used unfunded figures provided by the Teachers Union that incorrectly stated that Peel High School in my Electorate would “lose $1.68 million over the next two years”, when in fact it will increase by more than $8.5 million over the next 10 years,” Mr Joyce said.


“The Prime Minister was right in responding that at Peel High School he could see by looking at our schools funding estimator online “in 2017 the funding per student from the Commonwealth is estimated at $4,171 and by 2027 it will be $6,659.”


“This is a common occurrence across the New England Electorate, with the total increase in Federal Government funding for schools in New England over the next ten years set at $423 million.


“Schools, in every sector, in every local community in the electorate of New England will be receiving significant increases in funding because of our needs-based funding model. This is great news for the 122 primary and secondary schools in the electorate, and their 26,799 students.

“The Federal Government model is a needs based funding model that is endorsed by David Gonski. It is about fairness for all students regardless of what school they go to.

“Labor would have everyone in the New England Electorate believe local schools will lose funding, when the evidence is clear that they will receive a significant increase, which is around 54.4 per cent over the next 10 years.


“That’s a massive increase, and far beyond what Labor continues to deceive people by saying there are cuts to the system. We are delivering real money and real outcomes to the school system that Labor couldn’t.


“Our reforms are based on evidence that shows that the funding will make a real difference to supporting our teachers and schools to improve student outcomes. This is a fair system that is good for students, good for parents and good for teachers.


“I invite everyone in the New England and across Australia to do exactly what the Prime Minister did in Parliament and look up the new schools funding estimator that has been set up to help parents, principals and school communities in the New England Electorate see exactly how they stand to benefit from the Turnbull/Joyce Government’s new $18.6 billion needs-based schools funding plan.”

The estimator is available by visiting


Hansard Transcript as follows:


The SPEAKER:  Could you start the question again. It was not clear to me who it was to.


Ms PLIBERSEK:  It is to the Prime Minister. How is it fair or needs based that in this budget Peel High School in the Deputy Prime Minister's electorate will lose $1.68 million over the next two years, while the Armidale School, with fees of up to $20,000 per year gets an extra $16.3 million over the decade?


Mr TURNBULL (Wentworth—Prime Minister) (14:57):  I have looked up peel high school on the government's estimator app and it shows that it will receive over 10 years $8½ million of additional funding. Funding per student will go from $4,171 to of thousand—


The SPEAKER:   members on my right will cease interjecting. Before I call the member for Sydney, I remind her of her point of order yesterday, which was an abuse of the point of order and the fact that she has already been warned. The member for Sydney on a point of order. The member for Barker and the member for Canning are both warned. The member for Sydney on a point of order and will state the point of order.


Ms Plibersek:   Thank you Mr Speaker. The point of order is relevance. These figures are New South Wales government figures.


The SPEAKER:   the Prime Minister is completely relevant to the question. The Prime Minister has the call.


Mr TURNBULL:   the honourable member has said in defence of her question these are New South Wales government figures. I remind the honourable member this is the Commonwealth parliament annual we are talking about Commonwealth government spending and what I am saying to the honourable member is as every parent at peel high school can see in 2017 the funding per student from the Commonwealth is estimated at $4,171 and by 2027 it will be $6,659. Those are the figures set out by the Commonwealth department of education. I refer the honourable member to them.




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