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Thursday, 4 April 2019
Page: 14870

Schools


Mr LEESER (Berowra) (14:44): My question is to the Minister for Education. Will the minister update the House on how the government is delivering essential services that Australians rely on in education? Is the minister aware of any alternative approaches?


Mr TEHAN (WannonMinister for Education) (14:44): I'd like to thank the member for his question. I know he is absolutely passionate about education and making sure that the schools in his electorate are looked after. I'd like to inform the House that when it comes to the Education portfolio there are two words that are worth remembering: record funding. We are providing record funding for child care—$8.6 billion in 2019 alone. When it comes to preschool, we are providing record funding for preschool—$451 million next year. And we are funding preschool in exactly the same way the Labor Party did, through national partnership agreements. But we also want to make sure that all children are attending preschool. That is why we are engaging The Smith Family to develop a strategy on attendance.

When it comes to schools, we are providing record funding for all schools—for public schools, for Catholic schools and for independent schools. Our $310 billion Quality Schools Package will deliver needs based funding for the first time, with an increase of 62 per cent per student. Every year we have spent more on schools and we have worked to deliver the reforms teachers and parents want for students. Funding for state schools—and this is a really important point—under the coalition has increased three times faster than funding from state governments. That is our record. When it comes to higher education, we are providing record funding for higher education, with $17.7 billion this year.

I was also asked about the choice—what will those on the other side do? What will they do? What they will do is provide record funding when it comes to taxation. They want to tax the Australian people at record levels. They want to absolutely smother the Australian economy, so they won't be able to afford the essential services. That will be their record. As other ministers have said at the despatch box today, what we won't hear from the Leader of the Opposition is about the $200 billion of new taxes that he wants to put on the Australian people and the devastating impact that will have on the Australian economy.