Thursday, 17 October 2019
I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 200 standing in my name for today relating to a rural hardship education fund.
I move the motion as amended:
That the Senate calls on the Federal Government to consider putting in place a Rural Hardship Education Fund or other options to assist geographically isolated students and their families with educational expenses during times of rural hardship to ensure their education can continue unchanged.
The Morrison government is supporting Australian students affected by drought and flood through the isolated children scheme, to help eligible parents and carers with the extra costs of educating their children when they cannot go to an appropriate government school; $4 million in special circumstances funding to assist 25 non-government schools that were impacted by floods, benefiting more than 600 students; a $1.2 billion Choice and Affordability Fund to support choice in schools, including support in drought affected areas; the Community Child Care Fund, which will support access to child care in regional and remote Australia, with $327 million over five years; and the flood education supplement one-off payment of $1,000 per student for isolated families severely affected by the floods in North Queensland.
The Greens support the universal right of every child to access education, and we recognise the particular hardship faced by families in isolated areas, particularly those areas in drought. Funding could include extra support for small rural schools, like Trundle Central School in the Central West or Hermidale Public School between Nyngan and Cobar, to provide extra services and care to students and their families. It could mean building new public boarding schools. It could be used to provide for additional teachers to be employed in the most affected areas to support distance education students with home visits. Let's do everything we can to support every kid to get a world-class public education, no matter where they live.
Question agreed to.