The NSW Legislative Council has unanimously slammed the Abbott Government’s refusal to fund the full six years of the Gonski funding plan.
The Council endorsed the following motion moved by the Greens member Dr. John Kaye:
(1) That this House notes that:
(a) Thursday 28 May 2015 is Public Education Day in New South Wales;
(b) Public Education Day is a time to celebrate the significant and many achievements of this State’s public schools in educating students from all backgrounds regardless of their socio-economic status, race, religion, sexuality, gender identity, special needs, or levels of academic interest; and
(c) the second budget of the Federal Abbott Government, released this month, confirmed that public schools will not receive the urgent and necessary final two years of Federal funding outlined by the National Education Reform Agreement or the disability loading to provide additional support for students with special needs.
(2) That this House congratulates all New South Wales public schools on their outstanding service to the community and wishes all students and teachers a very happy Public Education Day.
(3) That this House condemns the Federal Abbott Government for failing to fulfil its pre-2013 election promise to deliver the full six years of Gonski funding to public schools, including the disability loading for students with special needs.
(4) That this House welcomes New South Wales education Minister the Hon. Adrian Piccoli’s commitment to funding the State Government’s share of the full six years of the Gonski money for New South Wales public schools.
(5) That this House calls on Mr Piccoli to take every action possible to urge his Federal Coalition colleagues to commit to funding the Commonwealth’s share of public schools.
John Kaye welcomed the unanimous support of the Council:
“The Greens welcome the solidarity showed today by all parties in the NSW Upper House in calling on the Abbott government to commit to funding the Commonwealth’s share of the Gonski money.
“Even Prime Minister Abbott’s state Liberal and Nationals colleagues are prepared to publicly condemn his actions on Gonski.
“Members of the NSW Legislative Council including Liberals and Nationals also condemned the Federal government’s failure to commit to funding the long-awaited disability loading to provide additional support for students with special needs.
“The passage of this motion comes as NSW celebrates Public Education Day tomorrow.
“Public schools do an outstanding job educating students from all backgrounds regardless of their socio-economic status, race, religion, sexuality, gender identity, special needs.
“However the Gonski agreement reached between states and Federal government recognised the pressing need to deliver a fairer funding system for public schools.”