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Monday, 3 June 2013
Page: 4776

Mr OAKESHOTT (Lyne) (13:54): The attacks on public servants continue today with new attacks on state and federal education departments. In my local Port Macquarie News today we read the headline: 'Don't trust Gonski estimates: Gillespie'. Gillespie is the National Party candidate arguing against the Gonski reforms in school based equity. The Gonski report explains 'an intolerable link'—a three-word slogan, if we need to break it down—between data that says there is a 30 per cent lesser outcome in regional and rural communities versus metropolitan communities. And the funding formula, as it is, is at the heart of that intolerable link. I cannot accept that this chamber is, potentially, going to get in the way of agreements reached between the New South Wales government and their education department and the Commonwealth and their education department, based on some sort of political expediency. That will mean that regional students, like my own children and many of my friends' children, are to accept as normal that, as a collective, they are 30 per cent dumber than metropolitan kids 'just because'. Come on! Let us deal with the intolerable link that exists, and let us listen to the data that is coming from the state and the federal education departments, and start to trust it and deal with common solutions to common problems. (Time expired)