THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
TUESDAY, 9 MAY 2017
SUBJECT: Liberals’ cuts to education.
TANYA PLIBERSEK, DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Well thanks very much for coming out this morning. Last night we saw a further unravelling of the Government’s $22 billion of cuts to school education. At a packed meeting of hundreds of parents and teachers last night. Liberal frontbencher, Zed Seselja and a Liberal from the ACT Assembly got up and slammed the Government for their cuts to school funding. These Liberals, Liberal frontbencher Zed Seslja and the ACT Liberals join State and Territory Governments who have slammed these cuts. They join Parents and Citizens Associations around the country, teachers’ unions, and most importantly, ordinary parents, who know that you can’t cut $22 billion from our schools without hurting kids. We know that cutting $22 billon is the equivalent of cutting about $2.4 million on average from every school across Australia over the next 10 years. That means less individual attention for kids, less one-on-one attention - less help with the basics, with maths, with reading, with writing, with coding and science and languages. Parents are up in arms against these cuts because they know that it’s children who will suffer. And why does the Government need to cut $22 billion from schools? They need to cut $22 billion of schools in their view, to fund a $50 big business tax giveaway. We know what makes a real difference to Australia’s future, to Australia’s prosperity, it’s properly investing in our children. The test for this Budget is does it properly restore preschool funding? Well we believe it only restores one year of preschool funding instead of properly committing into the long term. What does it do for schools funding? Well so far we know that it cuts $22 billion from our schools over the next decade. What does it do for TAFE? We know that the TAFE funding agreement’s about to run out, that’s a $500 million cut from TAFE every year. And we know that it cuts funding from universities. It increases students’ fees and it reduces funds to universities. This is a budget that will be a disaster for education if Malcolm Turnbull is allowed to have his way. Any questions?
PLIBERSEK: I think if a chat from Zed Seselja was going to fix it, it would’ve been fixed by now. He said that he’s already spoken to Simon Birmingham, that he’s already made the case. I think what will really fix this problem is when parents and teachers and principals and school communities make clear what these cuts mean in their schools. We heard from schools yesterday that are looking at increasing their fees from, say, $3000 a year to up to $8000 a year. Parents just can’t afford that. And we know the public system, that educates the majority of children across Australia, we go, with these $22 billion of cuts, we go from a situation where the vast majority of government schools would have reached the recommended funding level, the Schooling Resource Standard, recommended in the Gonski review, they would have reached that standard by 2019, the vast majority of schools. Under this new proposal, the vast majority of schools never get there. 15 per cent of schools, government schools, get there in ten years’ time. And for the rest of them, who knows? They never get there under this funding model.