02/06/2017

$318 million Gonski funding boost one step closer for Wide Bay schools

An additional $318 million for Wide Bay schools is one step closer after the Coalition Government’s Gonski needs-based funding plan passed the House of Representatives.

Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien said on average, each local school in the electorate would get a $4.3 million boost over the next 10 years under the Coalition Government’s needs-based funding reforms, which had been endorsed by David Gonski himself.

“This means we are a step closer to having a true, sector-blind needs-based funding model for Australia’s schools, which was David Gonski’s vision,” Mr O’Brien said.

Mr O’Brien said he was disappointed the Labor Party had opposed the additional investment for schools, after Labor previously claimed to support needs-based funding models.

“The vote of the Labor Members suggests they think our schools, our students and our teachers, don’t deserve any more funding.  If Labor has its way, Wide Bay schools would lose out on an average of more than $4 million each.”

Mr O’Brien said there had been a lot of misinformation being spread by some partisan interest groups about our Gonski schools funding plan.

The Coalition Government’s plan has been backed by parent and educator groups from various states and sectors, by independent think tanks like the Grattan Institute, the Mitchell Institute and by David Gonski himself.

“I welcome the support from different groups that isn’t tainted by partisan interests. Their approach stands in stark contrast to the misleading campaign of hypocrisy and negativity from Labor.”

The Labor opposition has failed to propose any alternative, except to maintain their 27 special deals that distort needs-based funding and just throws more money without securing better outcomes.

“The Labor Party must explain why it voted for Government schools to receive at most 4.7 per cent funding growth, compared to the Coalition’s plan for 5.1 per cent average annual increases and why, after invoking his name for years, the opposition is going against David Gonski’s endorsement of the Coalition’s plan?”

Families and schools can see exactly how they stand to benefit from the Coalition Government’s plan for themselves by visiting www.education.gov.au/qualityschools and clicking through to the schools funding estimator that uses official data. 

Further information on the Coalition Government’s Quality Schools reform package is available at: www.education.gov.au/qualityschools.