Monday, 19 June 2017
Questions without Notice
The answer to the honourable senator's question is no. Senator Birmingham did not mislead the party room. As to the rest of the honourable senator's question, it is based on a series of false premises. It is false to suggest that Catholic schools will lose any money at all under the proposal that Senator Birmingham has brought to the parliament. In fact, over the 10-year period to 2027 funding to the Catholic system will increase by $2.8 billion. That is $2.8 billion of the $18.6 billion of additional money that will be spent on Australian schools under the proposal that Senator Birmingham is bringing before the parliament this week.
Let me make it as clear as it is possible to be: in addition to the existing expenditure on the Catholic system, Catholic schools will receive, over the 10-year period, an additional $2.8 billion in public funding. The Catholic system know that. That is why, for example, the Archbishop of Brisbane, Archbishop Coleridge, has said that Catholic parents have nothing to be concerned about in relation to what Senator Birmingham has proposed. They know, because there is an additional $2.8 billion for the Catholic system under Senator Birmingham's proposal.