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Tuesday, 3 December 2013
Page: 1429

Mr CHESTER (GippslandParliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence) (16:03): I do thank the House for the opportunity to address them and debate this matter of public importance. It is clear to anyone listening that a bit of calmness is needed in this debate. The Australian people voted for change on 7 September, and, after listening to those opposite in this matter of public importance, it is not hard to see why. I take up the comments from the member for Boothby, who is right when he said that he thought those opposite would actually talk about their own record in government. It is a reasonable thing to think that after six years in government they would talk about their record in government. But those opposite did not mention it once—not a word. Zilch! Zip! Nada! Nothing! Not a single reference! It is like they were just getting up to it. They were just getting there. After six years, if you had only given us one more term we would have done it, we would have delivered that education reform. You just have to trust us and give us one more chance.

Today we even had a lecture on trust by the member for Maribyrnong, the man who did not tear down just one prime minister, he tore down two prime ministers. The same member who stood up here day after day in the previous parliament and defended the previous government on that great carbon tax deceit: 'There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead.' We have had lectures on trust and not a word from those opposite on their own record when it comes to education reform. Having stripped $1.2 billion from its own funding package prior to the election, members opposite now want to lecture us again. They stripped $1.2 billion from their own funding package prior to the last election, and they have the audacity to come in here and want to lecture us because the Minister for Education has had the audacity to actually increase the funding. He has increased the funding and provided an opportunity for having a genuine national approach.

Opposition members interjecting

Mr CHESTER: I know that the three new members opposite are a little bit embarrassed. They should be a little bit embarrassed because the Leader of the Opposition, when he was in the role of minister, stripped $1.2 billion, carved out Western Australia, carved out Queensland and carved out Northern Territory. I know they are a little bit embarrassed about that, as is the member for Perth. The three jurisdictions that were going to be adversely affected by the Leader of the Opposition when he was Minister for Education are going to benefit because the coalition government has come in and undertaken to provide $1.2 billion and provide a real opportunity for some sort of national reform in relation to education funding.

Opposition members interjecting

Mr CHESTER: All the ranting, all the raving, all the hooting, all the hollering over there—keep it going, keep the hooting and hollering going—we love it. We love listening to the new members. It is good to hear your voices, but it does not change that simple fact: you carved $1.2 billion out of the forward estimates for education funding. We are putting it back in, and those opposite have a problem with it. We are actually going to give Australian schools the opportunity to participate in a truly national program. So we can have this faux outrage. We can have all this confected anger. We are actually going to deliver more money. This side of the House, the government, the coalition, the Liberals and Nationals in government are going to deliver more money than you were able to provide when you had the opportunity.

This is a better deal. It is a better result for students across Australia, particularly in those jurisdictions that were financially penalised by the opposition leader when he was the education minister.

Opposition members interjecting

Mr CHESTER: Oh! They are going again. The member for Perth is going again. It is not hard to get her going, I must admit. She fires up very quickly. But I just urge the member for Perth to recognise that the Leader of the Opposition— (Time expired)