Page 3387 - Week 08 - Thursday, 23 August 2012

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MR SPEAKER: Mr Doszpot.

Mr Doszpot: I would ask Mr Hargreaves to withdraw.

Mr Hargreaves: I already did.

MR SPEAKER: It has been done. We will move on.

Schools—disability funding

MR HANSON: My question is to the minister for education. Minister, you have advised in estimates that the additional $2 million funding for students with a disability in a non-government school was a one-off allocation. Why is your commitment to these families for one year only?

DR BOURKE: I thank the member for his question. This was in the context of this year’s budget. In next year’s budget this matter will be reassessed. Of course we are in the middle of a change. We have had the biggest review in 40 years, the biggest policy consideration in 40 years in school funding, in the Gonski review, which I am sure you are all aware of now.

Within that review is discussion about funding to those most in need, in particular support for students with disabilities. Therefore it would be imprudent to commit money in the forward years until we see what the commonwealth response is to that. If it is all signed up before the next federal election or before the end of the year, or whenever the commonwealth decides it is going to start rolling its timetable out, at that point we will be able to consider what we need to do in the future.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, a supplementary question.

MR HANSON: Minister, what advice would you give to families who have a child with a disability attending a non-government school about funding after your one-off commitment finishes?

DR BOURKE: We already provide funding for non-government schools for students with disability. This $2 million was on top of that in this financial year. The funding is already going out. We have put an extra $2 million on top.

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order, members! There is a lot of noise in the chamber from both sides. I would like to be able to hear Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Of course, it is up to schools, upon government assistance, to allocate and use that money as they see fit.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Doszpot, a supplementary.

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