Wednesday, 19 September 2018
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has cancelled the scheduled Council of Australian Governments meeting, because his government is too busy fighting itself to finalise vital funding for schools. How are principals, teachers and parents in public schools supposed to plan for the coming school year when they have got no funding certainty for 2019? Isn't the division and chaos in this government hurting our schools and hurting our children? Is this what the Prime Minister meant when he described his own government as a 'muppet show'?
When people think they can tell lies and repeat lies, it doesn't make them any more true the more you repeat them. The Australian people know that. What I made very plain in my answer to the last question was simply this: I don't think you need to have a meeting if you don't need to have meeting. You don't have a meeting just to book a hall and everybody can come and have a cup of tea. The reason we don't have to have that meeting is that the very education funding issues that were referred to by the member will be addressed within that time frame. The Minister for Education and the Treasurer, who is absent from the House today, will ensure that is the case. That is the conversation I had with the premiers when I called each of them and spoke to each of them. None of them raised a concern about the meeting not being held, because they know the progress of those matters of education funding. Previously, as Treasurer, I had been progressing those matters through the Council on Federal Financial Relations, and they will be resolved. On this side of the House, we don't think you have to have meetings just for the sake of it. You just get on and do the job.
The shadow Treasurer came up here and got terribly irritated because there is not going to be a meeting. What I know about the shadow Treasurer is this: when he was immigration minister people couldn't trust him on the borders, and you can't trust him on a budget either. The Australian people know about me that they could trust me on the borders and they can trust me on the budget, because that's my record.