MEDIA RELEASE ACTING ON INDIGENOUS EDUCATIONAL DISADVANTAGE - THURSDAY, 14 FEBRUARY 2019

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY


  ACTING ON INDIGENOUS EDUCATIONAL DISADVANTAGE


Labor notes the Government’s announcements today on Indigenous education. 
 
We’ll take a close look at what they are proposing.  We must all do more to close the gap in education.
 
But if the Liberals were serious about taking action on Indigenous educational disadvantage:
 

  • They would match Labor’s plan to give three and four year olds subsidised access to preschool.
  • They would not have axed the More Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Teacher Initiative when they came to office – a program that helped Indigenous Australians become teachers working in their own communities.
  • They would match Labor’s plan to reverse the $14 billion Scott Morrison has cut from Australia’s public schools.  This would mean big funding increases for our neediest schools, including schools with high Indigenous enrolments.

 
Public schools teach around 84 per cent of Indigenous students. 
 
About 80 per cent of Indigenous Australian live in urban areas.  Indigenous Australians must have the opportunity of a great education no matter where they live.
 
EXAMPLES -
 
The remote Warruwi School in the Northern Territory that Tony Abbott visited last year (about 80 students, 100 per cent Indigenous) will get an extra $180,000 funding in the first three years of Labor’s plan alone.  
 
Yuendumu School a few hours out of Alice Springs (about 200 kids, 99 per cent Indigenous) will get an extra $460,000 in the first three years of Labor’s plan.
 
Casuarina Senior College in Darwin (about 900 kids, 24 per cent Indigenous) will get an extra $930,000 funding in the first three years of Labor’s plan.
 
 

  • They would not have cut $3 billion from vocational education, including the closure of TAFEs in regional and remote Australia, disproportionately impacting First Nations people.
  • They would match Labor’s plan to abolish Scott Morrison’s unfair cap on uni places.  That would see an extra 200,000 people go to uni over a decade, including more First Australians. 

 
After the last Labor Government uncapped uni places, Indigenous student numbers jumped by around 90 percent.
 

  • They would match Labor’s commitment to a $300 million University Future Fund for infrastructure, including $20 million for Australia’s first Indigenous residential college (at the University of Technology Sydney) to help get more First Australians into uni and support them while they’re there.

 
THURSDAY, 14 FEBRUARY 2019