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Monday, 20 August 2012
Page: 9103

Carbon Pricing

Mr CRAIG KELLY (Hughes) (14:25): My question is to the Prime Minister. I remind the Prime Minister that Ingleburn High School in Western Sydney has been hit with a carbon tax hike of $450 for just one month, with a teacher warning: 'So much for the carbon tax not having an impact! The money will have to come from funds otherwise allocated to students.' Will the Prime Minister apologise to parents of Ingleburn High students for promising them, 'There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead'?

Mr Hockey interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms AE Burke ): The member for North Sydney is warned.

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:25): I am very glad that the member raises the question of how best to support schools. We are a government that have doubled the amount of funding going into school education. And, as the member should know, because of the way that money is indexed—

Mr Pyne: Madam Deputy Speaker, I raise a point of order. The Prime Minister cannot simply rephrase the question and answer a question she would have liked to have been asked, like Joh Bjelke-Petersen. She was asked about the carbon tax and not about the funding of schools.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms AE Burke ): The Manager of Opposition Business will resume his seat. The Prime Minister has just commenced her answer. I will listen to her answer.

Ms GILLARD: As I was just about to say to the member who asked the question, we have doubled the funding for school education. That funding is indexed. The way in which the index works is that it takes into account increases, like the 10 per cent increase for electricity prices, which are flowing through into schools. That is taken into account in the index. I wonder if the member has ever got the New South Wales state government on the phone and asked them about the impact of the 70 per cent increase in electricity prices that will have hit the school in his electorate? I wonder if he has ever done that—

Mr Hockey interjecting

Mr Dutton interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The member for North Sydney and the member for Dickson will leave the chamber under the provisions of section 94(a). They have both previously been warned. It is a double hit. It is not my fault if you cannot hear me because you are making so much noise.

The member for North Sydney and the member for Dickson then left the chamber.

Ms GILLARD: I wonder whether the member who asked the question was embarrassed to stand alongside the Leader of the Opposition at the last election and promise to cut quality teaching money, promise to cut computers in schools and promise to cut trade-training centres. And I wonder now whether the member is embarrassed to sit behind the Leader of the Opposition, who today has said to that public school that he is coming for it. Like Jack the Ripper, he is going to be there wielding his knife to cut money out of that public school. That is what he has promised today.

Mr Pyne: Madam Deputy Speaker, I raise a point of order. In past times, I have been asked to withdraw a reference to the Prime Minister as Lady Macbeth, and I would ask her to withdraw the reference to the Leader of the Opposition that she just made, which is offensive.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I could not actually hear the reference the Prime Minister made, as I was trying to get order back in the chamber. But, to assist the House, I will ask the Prime Minister to withdraw.

Ms GILLARD: I withdraw, Deputy Speaker.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Prime Minster has the call and will be heard in silence. There are no further points of order on this question.

Ms GILLARD: I wonder how the member who asked the question feels about sitting behind this Leader of the Opposition, who is coming to that school to cut its funding. He has promised that today. Whatever label one wants to put on it, what that means is that that school would have less money for the education of children. The Leader of the Opposition in his own words today, in a carefully scripted remark, has said that he is coming for public schools to cut back their funding. Every public school in this country, every parent who sends a child to a public school, and every community member who cares about the quality of public education needs to know from today that the Leader of the Opposition is coming for them. He is coming with cutbacks, and he is coming to destroy the opportunity for those schoolchildren—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Prime Minister will return to the question before her.

Ms GILLARD: for a decent education and a decent life.

Mr Chester: And you wonder why no-one believes you.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The member for Gippsland is warned.