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ABC News Breakfast -

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(generated from captions) For more on government's

plans on education, Julia

Gillard joins us now from

Melbourne. Acting Prime

Minister, good morning. Good

morning. First of all, an

interesting observation here

made overnight by Rupert

Murdoch, calling Australia's

public school system a

disgrace, and saying the

failure of these schools is

more than a waste of human

promise and a drain on our

future work force, it's a moral scandal. What's your

response? I'd have to say I think Rupert Murdoch is making

a lot of sense. When we look at

our children in international

testing compared with children

around the world, what we see

is two disturbing things.

Firstly, we're not getting our

high-achieving students up to

the best possible standard.

Secondly, we've got a long tale

of underachievement. That is,

lots of kid whose don't meet

minimum benchmarks and

disproportionately they are the

children of poor households.

Now, as a nation, we shouldn't

settle for that. The government

doesn't want to settle for

that. We want to bring an

education revolution and we

particularly want to make a

difference to those

disadvantaged students. There's

no reason in the world why the

poorest of kids can't get a

great education other than the

nation's failure to provide

them with T When Rupert Murdoch says that the public

school system in Australia is a

failure you're saying this

morning you agree with

that? I'm saying that there spa

lot to fix in our education

system. We, the incoming Rudd

Government, inherited a system

that was leaving too many

disadvantaged kids behind. And

not achieving for the best and

brightest of our students.

We're determined to fix that

through our education

revolution. And at the Council

of Australian Governments

meeting on Saturday, we will

enter two new national

partnerships to make a

difference. One, to improve

teacher quality, and two, to

put new resources into

disadvantaged schools. What's

the dream here? To have great

teachers and particularly to

have great teachers in the

schools that need them the

most. You're promising $500

million. Is that correct? In

order to bump up this system. The Commonwealth's

offer for the national

partnership on teacher quality

is $500 million. It's a lot of

money. But we want to find new

ways of getting best and

brightest into teaching. We

want to find new ways of

supporting teachers in front of classrooms. And we classrooms. And we want to find

new ways of recognising highly

accomplished teachers and

rewarding them, particularly

for teaching in the toughest of

schools What do the States

have to dorks though? It seems

to me in all of this suggestion

there is an implied criticism

of what's been a long-running

problem in mostly Labor-led

States for a number of years

now, in allowing these public

systems to run down. They have responsibility for the responsibility for the school

system. So what's the

responsibility and hone news

going to be on the State

Governments to make sure that

any Commonwealth money, if it's

not matched, then at least they back up what the Commonwealth

says it wants to do? Well, to

make a national difference,

you've got to have a national

government that's prepared to

work in partnership with States

and Territories. We've lost too

much time in this nation much time in this nation with

the former government fighting

with States and Territories,

eccentric issues pursued rather

than this, the policy that we

need to make a difference. So

we're going to work in

partnership and that

partnership will be about

teacher quality and

disadvantaged schools. Do we

need States and Territories to

step up to the plate as well?

Yes, we do. And that's what a

national partnership is about.

New resources from the national partnership is about.

Commonwealth, matched by new

efforts from States and Territories. You simply have

to pay teachers more, don't

you? And good teachers more as

well. How do do you that and

who pays for it? Well, I think

we do have to reward the best

of our teachers. We want to do

that by having national

accreditation of accomplished

teachers. Having national

standards that experienced

teachers could step forward and

say "I want to be accredited

against those standards, and

then when they had received

that accreditation, recognising

their excellence, having States

and Territories make jobs

available, particularly in

disadvantaged schools, that

attract additional rewards for

those teachers. It's a

difficult situation though,

where it seems to be in

Australia and possibly around

the rest of the world now, if

you can afford it, you send

your children to a private

school. What's your plan to

arrest that departure? Well, I

actually think the situation is

a lot more plik Kated than

that. We want dr dr more

complicated than that. We want

parents to have choice but when

we look across our government

and non-government schools,

there is disadvantage for both sectors. My prism for

decision-making isn't what

school sector a school is in;

it's whether or not that school

is achieving great quality and

if it's not then we want to

boost that school up. On other

subjects this morning - Access

Economics is saying not only

will the government have to go

into deficit next year, but the

budget pretty much is in

reality in deficit right now.

Is that something that the

Federal Government is less

worried about and less afraid

of? Well, we of course have our

own Treasury forecasts, and we

published those forecasts in

the midyear economic and fiscal

outlook. Yes and Access

Economics seem to be suggesting

they're a bit optimistic, actually. Well, Access

Economics has made its own

forecasts. Obviously we rely on

the Treasury forecasts. When

they were published in MYEFO

they showed that the global financial crisis and its impact

on our real economy was going

to strip $40 million out of the

government's revenues, so

that's a huge punch in the

government's revenues, but it

also showed that the budget

would continue to be in

surplus. We understand these

are difficult times. We've said

that we will do what we need to

to support our economy. We've

already put $10.4 billion in

through our economic security

statement. Decisive action to

keep our economy in front. The

Prime Minister has committed us

to fast tracking

infrastructure, and we'll make

a further statement about that

in December. So it's a remote

possibility? Well, the official

forecasts from Treasury are

there, and what show is that

the budget is still in surplus,

but the government is being

very frank with the Australian

people. These are difficult

days. From the earliest days of

the global financial crisis, we

said to the Australian people,

we will not be immune. And the

government's official forecasts

show we're not immune. We've

lost government revenue, we're

predicting an increase in

unemployment. That's why the

government's acted decisively

to do everything we can to keep

this economy in front. We've

made the economic security

statement already. And we will

be dealing with infrastructure

in December. Julia Gillard,

Graham Morris this morning on

our program, the former Chief

of Staff to former Prime

Minister John Howard, gave the

Rudd Government an 8/10 in your

first year in power. What's

your response to that and how

do you get it to 10/10? (Laughs) Look, I will

let the commentators, including

people like Graham, make the

predictions here and give the

scores out of 10. What's our

job? Our job is to be there as

the government doing what we

promised this year has been

about two things. It's been

about delivering the election

promises and laying the

foundations for long-term

reform. Obviously the global

financial crisis has come onto

the horizon, into view, sharp

and quick. No-one 12 months ago

was talking about a global financial crisis. Now

everyone's talking about it. So

in addition to delivering on

the promises and laying the

town daigs for long-term re --

foundations for long-term

reform, with very to keep our

nation staying in front of this

global problem. We've seen the first black President to be

elected in the United States.

How long do you think we get

our first female Prime Minister

in the country, Julia

Gillard? Look, I don't know. I

think - I'm hoping to live a

long and happy life. We'll see

whether the Gods provide that

to me. But if I live that long

and happy life I'm sure I will

live to see a female Prime

Minister in this country. A lot

has changed for women in

politics very quickly. And I'm

hoping that I will see the day

where women are so routine in

all of the jobs that politics

provides that no-one even

bothers to remark on it any

more, no-one bothers to do the

count of how many men and how

many women because they just

expect it to be basically equal

and it's all very ordinary and normal. I'm sure we'll get

there. Julia Gillard, thanks

so much. Thank you. She does

look rather comfortable as

Acting Prime Minister. I have a

feeling she will live to see a