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Thursday, 25 February 2016
Page: 2312

Ms HALL (ShortlandOpposition Whip) (09:48): Member for Brisbane, your problems will start the moment they turn the NBN on. It has been rolled out across the Shortland electorate, with a lot of houses being connected to the NBN. I have to tell you: you are going to need extra electorate staff because of the problems associated with it—the fact that you cannot get the speeds that have been promised. The problems have been absolutely incredible. You will not believe the problems you will have.

But that is not what I wanted to speak about this morning.

Ms Gambaro interjecting

Ms HALL: I wish you the best of luck, because it has been an absolute nightmare in the Shortland electorate. Hopefully, for your sake, they do not turn it on until after the election. If they do it before, you are going to have so many people who are dissatisfied. I wanted to put on record my support for Labor's plan for education. Like every member of this House, I visited my schools at the end of the year when school presentations were taking place, and I have also visited them subsequently. The one message I have been getting is how important the Gonski reforms have been to those schools, particularly schools that were really disadvantaged, in getting extra money and targeted programs. There were students whose literacy levels had increased by about two or three years in a six-month period simply because of these reforms—because of the extra money put into targeted programs to help children.

It is really upsetting that over 10 years the government will be taking money out of our schools—ripping what I think comes to something like $731 million out of schools in the Newcastle region, and in Shortland electorate that accounts for $164 million—as opposed to Labor's strong focus on every child's need. It is really important to focus on every child's needs, providing individual attention for students, better trained teachers and more of them, targeted resources and better equipped classrooms, and more support for students with special learning difficulties. Australia needs to embrace the technology and the needs of the future. We need to work hard to make sure that our students are prepared for that future and to make sure that they get the knowledge and the education they need and deserve. (Time expired)