Page 1626 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 7 May 2013

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schools currently funded above their resourcing standard, they would be capped at a lower rate, at three per cent, until they reached the resourcing standard over time, at which point the 3.6 indexation would kick in.

As I said, the vast majority of our schools are funded above the resourcing standard; some are at and only a handful are below. So this will impact differently for individual schools across the ACT.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, when do you expect to finalise this agreement?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question. The Prime Minister has signalled her intention to have this matter resolved by 30 June this year. So that gives us around another six weeks or so to work with the commonwealth. Certainly the ACT government would be keen to resolve this by that date, because there is not an option of doing nothing. We need to provide schools with certainty for the first school day of next year, and six months out from that is a relatively short window.

So I am conscious that we do need to reach agreement with the commonwealth, as other jurisdictions will be seeking to do as well. I am also conscious that the SPP relating to funding will finish, as will the national partnership payments as well. So there are some financial risks involved. We need to continue to work with the commonwealth on delivering a good outcome, but that outcome will be based on the fact that our schools in the ACT, whether they are government or non-government, are funded at a level that is generally a lot higher than other schools across the country and that those schools, the ones that do not get the resourcing our schools get now, will be the ones that financially benefit the most from this agreement.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Chief Minister, will you assure Canberra parents that you will not accept per capita funding for students lower than the national average?

MS GALLAGHER: I am not sure that I understand the question. The answer is that this sets a resourcing standard for every single student across Australia, whether you are in primary or secondary schooling. That is the resourcing standard. What I have just been saying through question time is that some of our schools are below, some of them are at and many of them are above. So this is all about everyone getting the same amount of resourcing per student across the country. That is what a national system of funding is all about in education. So what the ACT gets, or what is on the table, is that we agree to a resourcing standard that is exactly the same as the one that Barry O’Farrell has agreed to in New South Wales, on exactly—

Mr Hanson: We are going to get less than—

Mr Coe: He is doing pretty well out of it.

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