House debates

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Questions without Notice

Schools

2:59 pm

Photo of Tanya PlibersekTanya Plibersek (Sydney, Australian Labor Party, Deputy Leader of the Opposition) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. This Liberal government has cut $14 billion from public schools—

Government Members:

Government members interjecting

Photo of Tanya PlibersekTanya Plibersek (Sydney, Australian Labor Party, Deputy Leader of the Opposition) Share this | | Hansard source

money that would have paid for things like literacy and numeracy programs and extra support for kids who really need it most.

Ms Henderson interjecting

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The Deputy Leader of the Opposition will resume her seat. The member for Corangamite is right: you can't hear because all her colleagues around her are interjecting.

Government members interjecting

Well, I'll tell you what, I can't hear, so the Deputy Leader of the Opposition is going to begin her question again.

Photo of Tanya PlibersekTanya Plibersek (Sydney, Australian Labor Party, Deputy Leader of the Opposition) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. The Liberal government has cut $14 billion from public schools—money that would have paid for things like literacy and numeracy programs and extra support for the kids who need it most. After six years of cuts, chaos and neglect, why should Australian families believe anything this Prime Minister says about education?

3:00 pm

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

I don't know which would be more concerning if a Labor government were elected: the member for Sydney sitting on the National Security Committee of Cabinet or on the Expenditure Review Committee. Maths is certainly not the member for Sydney's strong suit—nor is geography, for that matter—because what the member for Sydney has done is come in here and do what the Labor Party always does before an election: speak total mistruths to the Australian people. It may be of some interest to the member for Sydney that recurrent funding from the Commonwealth government for government schools—state schools—from 2013 to now has increased by 57 per cent. Only under the member for Sydney's arithmetic would an increase in funding of that order be constituted as a reduction.

But it gets better than that. The forecast in our spending plans is to increase funding for schools in her own electorate of Sydney by 60 per cent. So how does the member for Sydney parade herself around the country, pretending to be someone of economic competence, which is quite a stretch, even in the Labor Party, when these most simple issues of arithmetic are beyond her? Under our government, under our economy, where we have put in place the processes and policies to support Australians to go out there and work hard and make the economy strong, we have record funding of state schools and independent schools, and that record funding increases out into the medium term. So I say to the Australian people: don't be swindled by the mistruths of the Labor Party. Do you remember what they said before the last election? They said we were going to sell Medicare. Today, Medicare has the highest level of funding and the highest level of bulk-billing in Australia's history. Under our government, Medicare has never been stronger in this country. Under the Labor Party, all you will get is falsehoods and mistruths. Don't be conned by Labor.