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Only 7 education priority zones next year.

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99% of schools zoned-out by Labor

Mr Beazley says that "by the fifth year" there will be 54 of his "education priority zones".

Examination of Labor’s education priority zones reveals that in year 5 there will be $160 million spent on 54 zones.

But next year only $20 million will be spent.

Assuming the same "funding per zone" ratio, there will be fewer than 7 Zones in the first year.

And we already know where they will be.

Labor’s picked all 7 - the Kimberley, Parramatta, Townsville, Cairns, South Australia, the Northern Territory and North West Tasmania.

And you can bet they’ve picked out the rest.

A quick examination of the record gives the lie to Mr Beazley’s claim they will be picked "at arms length".

Last week Kim Beazley identified that the Kimberley and Parramatta would be education priority zones.

He said:

"… you might have in the Kimberley area a number of disadvantaged Aboriginal communities, you might have less than 12 schools in that zone …"

"You’d have to say in Parramatta there’s a real chance they would be an education priority zone …" (Beazley, Doorstop, Narangba, Queensland, 24 October 2001)


Back in March he announced that Townsville would have an education priority zone too:

Journalist: Would this be one of your priority zones?

Beazley: Absolutely. (Beazley, Doorstop, Townsville, Qld, 13/03/01)



And South Australia will get "significant additional resources from Labor’s Education Priority Zones" (Beazley, Media Statement "Education Priority Zones to Boost South Australia", 21/02/01)

Back in March ABC Radio 7ZR reported that: "North-West Tasmania will be made an education priority zone if the Labor Party wins the next Federal election. Pledge comes from Federal Member for Braddon Sid Sidebottom ………."

(ABC Radio 7ZR, 16/03/01)

And this morning ABC Darwin reported that former Labor Senator Bob Collins said that most of the schools in the Northern Territory would qualify to be in a zone. "Very few of the kids are actually completing year twelve. Many of the territory schools would fit into that category, and this is welcome news that additional resources would be available to them."

(105.7 ABC Darwin Radio News, 25/10/01 7:45am).

Cairns has also been promised a zone according to the local ALP candidate, Matt Tresize "We expect the education priority zones will also include some of the more needy schools in the Cairns area …" (Cairns 846AM, 11:18am 25/10/01)

Mr Beazley must come clean and tell Australians where all of his zones are located.

Does Mr Beazley have a white board that he isn’t telling us about?

Using Mr Beazley’s own figures, there will only be about 12 schools in each Zone.

So Kim Beazley will be selecting about 84 schools next year - less than 1% of Australian schools.

Over 99% of schools will not get a cent under Labor’s policy next year.

The Coalition has one Zone. It is called Australia.

The Coalition’s National Literacy and Numeracy Strategy is improving educational outcomes for every student, at every school.

The Coalition is focused on making sure that all children can read, write and understand basic maths and the only way to find out whether or not we are succeeding is to test children in those crucial early years and ensure early intervention to help those who are not acquiring the skills.

This is why we set goals.

This is why we set benchmarks and insist that every child is tested against them.

This is how the Howard Government has halved illiteracy rates since Labor left one third of primary school children unable to read and write properly.

This is why the Coalition has invested $1.1 billion in assisting educationally disadvantaged children and children with disabilities over the last four years, and why we will invest $1.4 billion on the same goals over the next four years.

Labor is going to dismantle the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategy in exchange for a crazy quilt of "zones" which will affect less than 1% of Australian schools next year.

29 October 2001

Media Contact: Catherine Job 0408 648 400