Thursday, 21 February 2019
Matters of Public Importance
A lot more. Let's go to higher education and research. Labor's last budget was $14.9 billion. The coalition's was $17.3 billion. The facts are that we have put record levels of investment into child care. We've put it into preschools, we've put it into schools and we've put it into higher education.
I would also just like to deal with the myth that, somehow, through this investment parts of the school sector are missing out. It is record funding for government schools, record funding for Catholic schools and record funding for independent schools. I would just like to make this point: when it comes to state schools or government schools, the government's spending is growing at around 6.3 per cent per student each year from 2019 to 2023, compared to per student growth of 5.2 per cent for the non-government sector. That is worth repeating: the government is investing an increase of 6.3 per cent per student each year from 2019 to 2023 for government schools. That's compared to per student growth of 5.2 per cent for the non-government sector.
So, whichever way you look at it, record funding is being provided by this government for all parts of our education sector, and it's something that all members on this side are extremely proud of. Not only that, our focus is on reform and our focus is on making sure that all Australians benefit from this record investment. We don't just take a narrow focus. It's a bit of a shame and a pity that in the shadow minister's speech I didn't hear mentioned once what Labor will do for Indigenous students, what they will do for rural and remote students or what they'll do for those from low-socioeconomic backgrounds. The facts are that this is where we need to prioritise and focus. This is where the gaps are.
Let's take preschools. This government has been absolutely focused on making sure we don't just pay for enrolment but ensuring that when we deliver our record funding the states and territories know we want it to benefit those who aren't attending.