In the froth and noise of the election campaign, voters are being asked to divide on many issues. One matter stands above all others: the education of our children.

“Australia’s first obligation is to fund the government school system,” Australian Democrats Victorian Senate candidate David Collyer said today.

“A quality, universal education for all children, whatever their family circumstances, is an intergenerational obligation we must meet. We know from the Gonski Review exactly what is needed and the Australian Democrats stand committed to honoring that goal.

“Yes, it means spending $4.5 billion a year. But the Gonski formula will cement our future as a genuine first world country with merit at its heart.

This investment is more important than new roads or shiny submarines. It also delivers very high absolute economic returns to taxpayers. See:http://www.unicef.org/publications/files/Investment_Case_for_Education_and_Equity_FINAL.pdf

“Only public schools can deliver this civic ideal, yet a large chunk of the education budget is diverted to subsidise the private school system.

The Turnbull government plans to cut funding under the Gonski formula after 2017.

Recent research commissioned by the Australian Education Union shows government funding to private schools has increased at twice the rate of public schools.

“Our struggling public schools must have first call on Australia’s primary and secondary education budget. Public money siphoned off into the private school system merely entrenches intergenerational privilege and assists those already best placed to succeed.

“This is not class warfare, Mr Turnbull, this is about equity and every child being equipped to fulfil their potential, to contribute to the economy, society and the national good.

“Priority funding the education of advantaged children is not the purpose of government. If elected to the Senate, I will pursue this matter with the tenacity of a terrier with a rat,” Collyer concluded.

“David Collyer and Wanda Mitchell-Cook lead the Australian Democrats Victorian Senate team for the July 2 federal election”.

Media contact:
David Collyer 0413 248 193
info@vic.australian-democrats.org.au