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Tuesday, 9 October 2012
Page: 11681


Mr BRADBURY (LindsayAssistant Treasurer and Minister Assisting for Deregulation) (16:47): I rise to express my condemnation of the New South Wales government for the cuts they have inflicted upon the New South Wales community, and my community in particular, with their $1.7 billion worth of cuts to school education and education funding more generally, and also for their $3 billion worth of cuts in health care. I have been running a campaign locally—a petition—and I am pleased to advise that I now have over 1,000 signatories to the petition. I am calling upon the New South Wales government to reverse the cuts they have announced. The $1.7 billion worth of cuts will impact upon every student in every school right across New South Wales. Government schools, Catholic schools and independent schools will all be affected. Not only was it not mentioned to people before the last election but these announcements were made without any consultation at all with the school education community.

Some of the local principals in my community have already expressed their outrage. For example, Mr Andrew Mullins, whom I know well, at Wollemi College made the observation that he has been teaching for 33 years and said, 'I have never seen a government—Liberal or Labor—do this. There is simply no precedent.' He went on to talk about how school fees are likely to rise by an estimated 10 per cent as a result of these cuts. Bruce Nevill from Penrith Christian School said, 'It is disgraceful.' Marina Haines from Montgrove College said that many parents are going to be financially disadvantaged: 'We are a low socioeconomic school in the first place and many families are already making big sacrifices.'

I am particularly disappointed with the lack of advocacy from the local state Liberal members on this issue. There are three of them: the member for Mulgoa, Tanya Davies; the member for Penrith, Stuart Ayres; and the member for Londonderry, Bart Bassett. On day one of these cuts we had Tanya Davies come out and indicate that she supported these changes. She said they were tough decisions but they were fair decisions. But then, on day two, she came out and said that she actually objected to these decisions and these cuts but only insofar as they impacted on non-government schools. Stuart Ayres, on the other hand, basically said that these cuts are fair and then went on to blame the GST. He said the federal government had cut the GST. What a load of rubbish! We do not determine the GST. Sure, it was a Liberal government that introduced it, but the Commonwealth collects the GST and there is an independent formula that determines how it is distributed. If it has declined in real terms into the future, that is only because consumption is down. But I can tell the House that GST revenues are set to increase by 19.5 per cent. (Time expired)

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr S Georganas ): In accordance with standing order 193, the time for members' constituency statements has concluded.