PARLIAMENT HOUSE DOORS - CANBERRA
TUESDAY, 2 FEBRUARY 2016
KATE ELLIS, SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION: As we enter Parliament today, the contrast when it comes to schools and education policy couldn't be more stark. On the one hand we have Labor's 'Your child. Our future' fully costed policy, guaranteeing the long term education for all Australian children. On the other hand we have Malcolm Turnbull, who has not only walked away from the Gonski reforms and cut $30 billion from future school funding, but it's now been revealed intends to leave the states to fight it out over the scraps of remaining school funding moving forward.
We know that it is a farce for the Prime Minister to talk about innovation at the same time that he is cutting funding for every school across the nation. The Liberal Government's cuts to our classrooms are the equivalent of ripping out one in every seven teachers. Labor knows that if you're serious about education policy, but equally if you are serious about this country's future economic growth, then you need to get our education system right and that means real investment in the programs that make a difference to increasing Australia's educational attainment.
We have a plan so that we will improve the literacy and numeracy of every child in every school in every state and territory. We have a plan that will increase year 12 retention because we know that this is the biggest indicator of whether or not these students will go on to be employed. We have had two Education Ministers, two years and yet no education policy that makes a scrap of sense from this Government. We know that when it comes to schools this is too important for this to be just cast aside by a government who is preoccupied with their own internal business.
Today is the time for Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberal Government to get back on the unity ticket that they promised the Australian public they were on when it came to school reform.
JOURNALIST: What did you make of the leaked Liberal talking points?
ELLIS: Well, I think this just shows exactly, that the Liberal Government are all about politics, they're all about trying to dirty the water and try and throw mud when it comes to the Labor party. Whereas Labor are here talking about our positive plans for this nation. I think Josh Frydenberg himself said that this yet another example that there are disgruntled members within the government party room. What we need is a government that is actually focused on putting people first. A government that is focused on the Australian people's needs. Not a government that is all about playing politics and is all about being torn up by internal division.