House debates

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Questions without Notice

Education Funding

2:05 pm

Photo of Deborah O'NeillDeborah O'Neill (Robertson, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister update the House on the latest figures on the government's plan for better schools? What do these mean for our school communities?

2:06 pm

Photo of Julia GillardJulia Gillard (Lalor, Australian Labor Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Robertson for her question and for her ongoing passion for improving children's education. Just before question time started I noted that the member for Ryan acknowledged that the Chapel Hill State Primary School joins us in the gallery today. I advise the House and those from Chapel Hill primary school, who are very welcome here, that under the government school funding reforms we believe that in the order of $2.6 million more would be made available to that primary school, an increase of 28 per cent, because we think the children in the gallery and children around the country are worth that additional investment. We believe that every child in every school—

Honourable Members:

Honourable members interjecting

Photo of Ms Anna BurkeMs Anna Burke (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

Order! The Prime Minister has the call and, as every speaker in this House has, she has the right to be heard in silence.

Photo of Julia GillardJulia Gillard (Lalor, Australian Labor Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

And while I might be interjected against when talking about children's education, that happens because the opposition are trying to obscure from the Australian people that they stand for deep cuts in education as opposed to the additional investment we want to make sure goes to every school around the country. We want to see available to schools around the country $14.5 billion of additional investment between state and federal governments, and of course we want to index funds as well with the federal government indexation rate at 4.7 per cent. That is an average in base funding of $4,000 extra for every Australian student and $1.5 million for every school in the country.

Because this is a needs based system, it means that money flows where the need is the greatest. We have released today new data about what our school funding plan would mean for the Northern Territory. Under our plan, the Northern Territory would receive $300 million extra for Northern Territory schools: $205 million for government schools; $95 million for non-government schools. This would enable schools in the Northern Territory to increase the amount of effort they are able to put into children's education. And it would particularly benefit Indigenous children in the Northern Territory because the way in which the loadings work recognise that we can ensure that our Indigenous children get a great education, but it requires extra investment and extra care.

I call on the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory to join with conservatives like Premier O'Farrell in endorsing this direction for our country's future. Our kids are worth it, and we cannot be the strong, prosperous nation we want to be for the future unless we get school funding right. The current model is broken. It is time for that to be recognised by the Northern Territory Chief Minister signing on to our plan for school improvement. (Time expired)