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Government concedes legislation was flawed on Schools Bill.



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MEDIA RELEASE

Government concedes legislation was flawed on Schools Bill

The Opposition spokesman on Education, Christopher Pyne, welcomed the Government’s backdown on two of the three key concerns the Opposition has had with the Schools Assistance Bill.

“The Coalition, with the support of Senator Steve Fielding, has also successfully excluded that the as-yet unwritten national curriculum from this legislation,” Mr Pyne said.

“The Coalition’s concerns regarding the qualified audit provisions of the Bill and most importantly, the publication of the private sources of funding for non government schools have been satisfied,” he said.

“The amendments proposed by the Government indicated a clear admission that their legislation was deeply flawed from the outset. Finally the Government has conceded this point after weeks of obstinacy.

“There is no possible justification for the Deputy Prime Minister to insist on keeping the national curriculum in this Bill when it has not even been written.

“Julia Gillard wouldn’t sign something without reading it - why would she force non-government schools to do so.

“The application of the national curriculum is a debate for another day - ideally when we can see what it looks like.

“The responsibility for the passage of this Bill now remains squarely with the Government. They have come to their senses on two of the Coalition’s concerns.

“Now the Rudd Government has the opportunity to ensure choice and diversity in education and I urge them to do so,” Mr Pyne said.

2 December 2008

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