Page 2149 - Week 07 - Thursday, 16 May 2013

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show, celebrate and showcase in public education. So I am not quite sure what point Mr Doszpot is seeking to make, but I think we should be celebrating public education for a week, for a month or indeed for a whole year.


MR DOSZPOT: My question is to the Chief Minister. In yesterday’s question time, in response to a question on Gonski funding, you said the ACT Labor government supports “extra funding going to those children to make sure that those children, even though they do not live in the ACT, get the education that my children and your children are getting”. Chief Minister, why should ACT families be penalised to prop up educational systems in other jurisdictions?

MS GALLAGHER: The answer to the question is that they are not. The point I was making is that children in the ACT, when you look at it comparatively around the country, are in a very fortunate position where their education system is funded at a level that other jurisdictions are aiming to get to over the next six years.

The point I was making is that if a child is in Adelaide, in a remote part of Adelaide, why should they not get the same amount of funding that a child in Canberra gets so that they can get a good education in the interests of the country? That is the point I am making. National education funding reform does require people, I think, if you accept that education funding reform is required, and that the school resourcing standard is appropriate, and we apply that across the country—it does mean that the level of funding coming to the ACT will not be as great as for those children who are currently being educated well below the resourcing standard.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Chief Minister, do you have a mandate from the ACT electors to allow our educational standards to drop in order for children in other parts of Australia to catch up?

MS GALLAGHER: Mr Doszpot, I find it staggering that you would be sitting here and putting that allegation to me—that I am in some way seeking to reduce the standard of education here in the territory and that you would be prepared to run that as a public line. The issue—and I feel very confident—is that we went to the election last year with a very comprehensive policy about needs-based funding. We also went to that election with a commitment around education funding and it is all about improving—

Mr Smyth: And you went to the 2004 election with a policy of no school closures. How long did that last? Six weeks.

MS GALLAGHER: Mr Smyth, you can ask me a question about that. This question is about the 2012 election, and we went with a very clear policy around education funding, needs-based funding, and we will deliver on that.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

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