Education Cuts

When the former, Labor government commissioned a report to see how our schools across this nation could be improved and asked the question, 'How can we have a smarter and more prosperous nation?' the answer in the Gonski report was clear. The answer was clear: a lack of equity is holding this country back. The answer was that we needed a sector-blind, needs-based system. In shorthand, we called it Gonski. The whole country calls it Gonski. And this government promised before the election that they would deliver on Gonski, the Gonski program the whole country understood to be about something that was sector blind and needs based.

But what have we got in my electorate of Lalor, where we have the most students of school age in the country, 33,000 students? We face a cut—a cut of $277 million to the programs in my schools. We know what that means in Lalor. We had the advantage of the national partnerships scheme! We know what it means. We know that it is going to be a long-term negative for my community and for this country. Prosperity requires equity. Go and fix it, Minister Pyne! Go and fix it. (Time expired)

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