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Tuesday, 18 June 2013
Page: 6067

Education Funding

Mr PERRETT (MoretonGovernment Whip) (14:13): My question is to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister update the House on how the government will deliver more support for schools and school communities under the National Plan for School Improvement?

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:13): I very much thank the member for Moreton for that question. He has demonstrated during this week, day after day, how focused he is on the quality of education for the children in his electorate, bringing his lifetime passion for education into this parliament. Though I have never worked as a teacher, I can certainly join him in that. I want to make sure, as I have across my lifetime, that every Australian gets the transformative opportunity that comes with a great education. I want to make sure that happens for every child in every school.

The member for Moreton represents in this parliament schools like Oxley State School, a primary school of around 500 students. That school stands to gain around $3 million in funding over the next six years, an increase of 43 per cent. What is standing between that school and those students and those new resources and our plan for school improvement to lift the standards of education for those children?

What is standing between that school and having a more empowered school principal, who can choose teachers and the right mix of staff? What is standing between that school and a plan for school improvement where the community is involved in working out what would lift the kids up, and that is accountable and transparent on My School? What is standing between that school and the extra resources and ways of working, which will enable them to tackle very difficult problems like disadvantage, attendance and bullying? What is standing between that school and having the resources to have things like a family and community liaison officer to make sure that kids and families do not fall through the gaps and that they can build networks to ensure that those kids have strong community networks, including with local service organisations and local business?

Well what is standing between that school and those improvements, what is standing between that school and a great quality education, is the Premier of Queensland. He is standing between his schools and $3.8 billion of new resources for the kids in Queensland. Not every Liberal leader needs to be a wrecker. Premier O'Farrell has proved that, and Premier Newman could prove that too. But instead of lifting up the phone and saying yes to me, saying that he wants to improve schools, he is too busy taking the calls of the Liberal opposition saying: 'Whatever you do, don't sign up to the government's plan. Put political advantage before the advantage of the kids in your schools.' Well Premier Newman should stop listening to the Leader of the Opposition. Put Queensland kids first—that is what we want to do.