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Wednesday, 16 June 2010
Page: 5606

Ms HALL (7:55 PM) —I rise to support Australia’s schools and students, as opposed to the previous speaker, the member for Forrest, who argued that mining companies should not pay their fair share of tax. The Rudd government’s record in education is phenomenal. Since being elected, it has revolutionised education and our schools. This has been done by a number of really innovative programs. Building the Education Revolution, including the National School Pride Program and Primary Schools for the 21st Century, has seen 115 projects in the Shortland electorate, valued at nearly $90 million.

This funding has helped schools like Belmont Christian College, who had $2½ million and have constructed a new library, and Belmont High School, who had $200,000 under the National School Pride Program. Belmont Public School has constructed new classrooms and an covered outdoor learning area. Budgewoi Public School has constructed new classrooms. Caves Beach Public School has also undergone a very innovative program. Floraville Public School has had $3 million under Primary Schools for the 21st Century, once again for school classrooms. Charlestown East Public School has constructed a new school hall, as has Marks Point Public School. There have been a number of really innovative, great capital works programs in the schools in the Shortland electorate.

The Rudd government has also put science and language labs in high schools. The National School Pride Program has upgraded and undertaken much-needed maintenance work within schools in the Shortland electorate and throughout Australia. There have been the computers in schools, which have been a valuable tool for all school students. There are also the trade training centres, which have been wonderful for the schools in the Shortland electorate.

St Mary’s High School has had hospitality facilities constructed. On the Central Coast a very innovative program has gone across the electorates of Dobell and Shortland and has seen Gorokan High School, Lake Munmorah High School, Lakes Grammar, Wadalba Community School, Northlakes High School and Wyong High School all coming together and building facilities that can be used by all the students in those areas. At Lake Munmorah High, Gorokan High and Northlakes High there have been hospitality facilities constructed. There has also been upgrading of construction and engineering facilities—outstanding facilities for students living in areas where it is difficult to access training colleges.

 I have talked about the Australian technical colleges. In the Newcastle-Hunter region the parents had to build workbenches. They could not arrange work experience for the students. The Central Coast technical college never got underway. Now the Central Coast Australian technical college is in the schools which students attend.

All these things have happened under the Rudd Labor government. What did the Howard government do? Flagpoles in schools and the failed Australian technical college scheme. Abbott now wants to stop the Building the Education Revolution program, take the computers out of schools and remove the trade training centres. What would this mean to the students in the Shortland electorate? It would mean they did not have the skills to prepare them for the workforce.

The Rudd government’s legacy to Australia is an education revolution that has delivered for the students quality school infrastructure, computers, vocational training and introduction to trades in school. The Rudd government is preparing Australian students for the future while the opposition is putting their future at risk. No area demonstrates the risk that Tony Abbott poses for Australia more than the area of education.

The SPEAKER —Order! The member will refer to members by their parliamentary titles. It being 8 pm the debate is interrupted.

Dr Emerson —Mr Speaker, I require that the debate be extended.

The SPEAKER —The debate may continue.