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Electorate won't ignore Kemp's efforts at educational apartheid.

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Electorate Won't Ignore Kemp's Efforts At Educational Apartheid Kim Carr - Spokesperson on Education in the Senate

Media Statement - 17 October 2000

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Senator Kim Carr, Labor's Spokesperson on Education in the Senate, today called on parents to judge the fairness of the Howard Government's Schools Bill at the ballot box.

Speaking at the Australian Council of State School Organisations national conference in Darwin, Senator Carr endorsed the call by ACSSO to vote against any political party who abandons fairness and equity in its education funding policies.

"Minister David Kemp, and the Coalition Government have shown complete contempt for the concept of social justice, by attempting to give millions of extra dollars to the nation's wealthiest and most powerful schools," Senator Carr said.

"The Schools Bill as it currently stands demonstrates a deliberate strategy by this Government to entrench privilege in Australian society."

Senator Carr, who is also Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate, said approval by the Senate of education payments to the states was vital for the ongoing funding of all Australian schools, but that the Government was responsible for holding up debate and passage.

"This Government has bottled up all its education bills until the end of the parliamentary session, in order to avoid scrutiny and accountability," he said.

"There are only 16 more Senate sitting days currently scheduled by this Government until the end of the year, and eleven education bills listed for debate.

"If the Government believes they will be able to avoid public attention in the end of year rush, they are heading for a surprise.

"Already, the controversial and divisive Schools Bill has stirred much public disbelief and anger.

"The Labor Party has a duty to examine the Bill in detail and try to ensure that it is fair and equitable as possible. The Government cannot ignore the demands of an electorate that cares about quality education and opportunity being made available to ALL Australian children," Senator Carr said.

Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.