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Tuesday, 29 May 2018
Page: 4725

Schools


Ms PLIBERSEK (SydneyDeputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:58): My question is to the Prime Minister. The director-general of the New South Wales Department of Education has said that extra funding will be needed to implement recommendations from the second Gonski report. If the Prime Minister has accepted the recommendations from the second Gonski report, why is he still cutting $17 billion from Australian schools while giving the big banks a $17 billion tax cut?


Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:59): I thank the honourable member for her question. The government is providing record funding to schools, the highest funding to schools in our history. It is national, consistent and needs based.

Ms Ryan interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Lalor!

Mr TURNBULL: That record funding—the honourable member is shaking her head but the fact is that the budget papers don't lie. The funding for schools is the highest ever and the key thing we have to achieve is to ensure that we get the best outcomes from this very large spending. That is why David Gonski, whose recommendations my government has adopted, and the honourable member's former government ignored and then misrepresented—that's why we need to know what the measures are that will ensure we give all of our students the best education we can deliver. The Gonski 2.0 report is a very valuable guide and the minister, Senator Birmingham, will be meeting with his counterparts from the states and territories to discuss how that can be implemented. I have to say that the report has been broadly well accepted. There's always some resistance to reform but I think we all agree that every child should make a year's progress every year. That is the fundamental point that David Gonski is making, because, as they've observed in the report, there are many students who are not progressing as much as they should or could. That is why we need to have a more student focused approach to school education. The resources are there and the funding model is there. It's now important to put it to work for the benefit of our children.