House debates

Thursday, 8 September 2022

Statements by Members

Victoria: Education

1:47 pm

Keith Wolahan (Menzies, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

One of the wonderful privileges of this place is seeing children up there wave to us when they visit this building, so, when I visited some of the 44 schools in my electorate, I was saddened to hear that those visits may not happen again—or at least may not with certainty. Currently there is an enterprise bargaining agreement in Victoria that requires schools that defined 100 per cent of time on duty and 50 per cent of time on call for their staff. No-one denies that teachers deserve fair compensation, but this award potentially disproportionately affects students because the principals don't have that extra finance or funding to deal with camps.

Overstretched budgets are forcing schools to think twice about camps, and that includes this building and also camps throughout Victoria. Indeed, there is even talk of charging parents separately for this privilege, and that does create a disparity between private and public schools in Victoria. No-one would want it to be that you must go to a private school to come to this place for a visit. All students, whether they are public or private, should be given the chance to come to this place.

I urge the Victorian Labor government, as soon as possible, to look at the consequences of this agreement and to provide funding and certainty for schools so that all students in Victoria get to go to camps.