25 May 2017

Gonski 2.0 needs-based school funding a big boost for Corangamite

Today I spoke in Parliament on the Australian Education Amendment Bill 2017 highlighting some of the great funding wins for Corangamite schools.

This fair and transparent plan will deliver millions of dollars in extra funding for both government and non-government schools in Corangamite.

  • Total funding for Corangamite schools for 2017 – $82,967,400
  • Total funding for Corangamite schools over 10 years 2018/27 – $1,063,603,900
  • Total funding increase for Corangamite schools 2018/27 – $233,929,900

As I said in Parliament today, the claims by Labor and the AEU about a cut in schools funding are fanciful and have no credibility.  The former Labor Tertiary Education Minister Craig Emerson has described attempts by Labor to block our Bill as “heartbreaking.”

A breakdown of funding for each school is below (please note that the Australian Government will fund 80% of the Schooling Resource  Standard (SRS) for non-government schools and 20% of the SRS for government schools given that the states and territories are the majority funders of government schools).

School Name Total Cwlth funding in 2017 Total Commonwealth funding over 2018 to 2027 Total increase 2018 through 2027
Alvie Consolidated School $127,800.00 $1,718,700.00 $440,700.00
Anglesea Primary School $285,500.00 $3,839,800.00 $984,800.00
Apollo Bay P-12 College $650,400.00 $8,746,500.00 $2,242,500.00
Bannockburn Primary School $1,225,800.00 $16,484,300.00 $4,226,300.00
Barwon Heads Primary School $891,600.00 $11,989,800.00 $3,073,800.00
Barwon Valley School $1,369,900.00 $18,421,900.00 $4,722,900.00
Beeac Primary School $94,600.00 $1,272,000.00 $326,000.00
Bellaire Primary School $1,164,300.00 $15,656,400.00 $4,013,400.00
Bellbrae Primary School $827,400.00 $11,126,400.00 $2,852,400.00
Belmont High School $3,071,300.00 $41,302,100.00 $10,589,100.00
Belmont Primary School $619,500.00 $8,330,900.00 $2,135,900.00
Birregurra Primary School $195,100.00 $2,623,200.00 $672,200.00
Cape Clear Primary School $61,400.00 $825,800.00 $211,800.00
Carlisle River Primary School $48,000.00 $644,800.00 $164,800.00
Ceres Primary School $274,900.00 $3,697,000.00 $948,000.00
Christian College Highton $6,947,700.00 $90,494,900.00 $21,017,900.00
Christian College Institute of Senior Education $4,145,100.00 $52,014,900.00 $10,563,900.00
Clairvaux Catholic School $4,373,700.00 $52,966,300.00 $9,229,300.00
Colac Primary School $612,800.00 $8,240,000.00 $2,112,000.00
Colac Secondary College $1,581,200.00 $21,263,300.00 $5,451,300.00
Colac South West Primary School $402,300.00 $5,409,200.00 $1,386,200.00
Colac Specialist School $329,700.00 $4,434,100.00 $1,137,100.00
Colac West Primary School $323,900.00 $4,354,900.00 $1,115,900.00
Deans Marsh Primary School $168,600.00 $2,266,900.00 $580,900.00
Elliminyt Primary School $549,000.00 $7,382,900.00 $1,892,900.00
Forrest Primary School $110,900.00 $1,491,800.00 $382,800.00
Freshwater Creek Steiner School $1,069,200.00 $13,086,400.00 $2,394,400.00
Geelong Lutheran College $3,562,800.00 $46,249,800.00 $10,621,800.00
Grovedale College $2,314,800.00 $31,128,700.00 $7,980,700.00
Grovedale Primary School $650,700.00 $8,750,100.00 $2,243,100.00
Grovedale West Primary School $688,000.00 $9,252,000.00 $2,372,000.00
Highton Primary School $619,100.00 $8,325,100.00 $2,134,100.00
Inverleigh Primary School $437,200.00 $5,878,600.00 $1,506,600.00
Lavers Hill K-12 College $458,600.00 $6,166,300.00 $1,580,300.00
Lethbridge Primary School $355,200.00 $4,776,400.00 $1,224,400.00
Linton Primary School $81,300.00 $1,092,900.00 $279,900.00
Lorne-Aireys Inlet P-12 College Lorne Campus $778,000.00 $10,462,100.00 $2,682,100.00
Mandama Primary School $960,600.00 $12,917,800.00 $3,311,800.00
Meredith Primary School $215,900.00 $2,903,300.00 $744,300.00
Montpellier Primary School $1,156,400.00 $15,550,300.00 $3,986,300.00
Moriac Primary School $414,100.00 $5,568,600.00 $1,427,600.00
Mount Duneed Regional Primary School $559,200.00 $7,519,100.00 $1,927,100.00
Nazareth School $2,523,600.00 $30,561,000.00 $5,325,000.00
Oberon High School $1,620,300.00 $21,789,500.00 $5,586,500.00
Oberon Primary School $360,700.00 $4,850,700.00 $1,243,700.00
Oberon South Primary School $167,100.00 $2,247,300.00 $576,300.00
Ocean Grove Primary School $1,193,300.00 $16,046,600.00 $4,113,600.00
Our Lady Star of the Sea School $3,332,900.00 $40,362,100.00 $7,033,100.00
Point Lonsdale Primary School $378,400.00 $5,088,000.00 $1,304,000.00
Queenscliff Primary School $42,500.00 $571,300.00 $146,300.00
Rokewood Primary School $170,200.00 $2,288,400.00 $586,400.00
Roslyn Primary School $430,000.00 $5,781,700.00 $1,481,700.00
Sacred Heart School $4,007,000.00 $48,526,300.00 $8,456,300.00
Shelford Primary School $70,700.00 $951,200.00 $244,200.00
St Aloysius’ School $1,188,800.00 $14,396,100.00 $2,508,100.00
St Brendan’s School $570,900.00 $6,913,400.00 $1,204,400.00
St Mary’s School $2,833,600.00 $34,314,900.00 $5,978,900.00
St Therese School $3,284,100.00 $39,771,700.00 $6,930,700.00
Surf Coast Secondary College $1,789,400.00 $24,064,000.00 $6,170,000.00
Surfside Primary School $835,600.00 $11,236,600.00 $2,880,600.00
Teesdale Primary School $365,800.00 $4,918,300.00 $1,260,300.00
Torquay P-6 College $1,921,300.00 $25,836,900.00 $6,623,900.00
Trinity College Colac Inc $9,654,900.00 $116,927,000.00 $20,378,000.00
Wallington Primary School $336,300.00 $4,521,700.00 $1,158,700.00
Winchelsea Primary School $401,200.00 $5,394,400.00 $1,382,400.00
Woady Yaloak Primary School Smythesdale Campus $715,300.00 $9,618,500.00 $2,465,500.00


Here is my speech today:

It is my great pleasure to rise and speak on the Australian Education Amendment Bill 2017.   On 2 May the Turnbull government announced an extra $18.6 billion in schools funding on top of the already record funding for Australian schools to be delivered over the next 10 years. This will bring our total 10-year investment to a record $242.3 billion from 2018 to 2027.

What we are doing in this bill is implementing the true Gonski needs-based funding model. As the member for Macquarie leaves the chamber—it is a shame because I did want to actually pick her up on a very fundamental flaw she made in her contribution. She mistakenly misrepresented the member for Warringah and the government’s policy at the time. I want to make this very clear. In 2013 the member for Macquarie, as a candidate for Labor Party, was clearly not listening very intently, because our commitment was to commit on a unity ticket to the first four years of funding, not to the six-year package. The member for Warringah made that very, very clear. It just goes to show how easily the member for Macquarie can get up in this parliament and seek to misrepresent our commitment.

Why did we do that? We keep hearing from members opposite about this additional $22 billion, but the bottom line is that this was never in Labor’s budget. This was never incorporated into the forward estimates. It was pushed off into the never-never, in years 5 and 6. All of that funding so-called increase was never delivered as part of Labor’s budget. We made a very firm commitment we would agree to the first four years of funding. In fact, when we came into government in 2013 we discovered that the Labor Party had short-changed a number of states and we had to very quickly find an additional $1.2 billion

What we found here was a lot of smoke and mirrors from members opposite about what the funding was that they committed to, because if the Labor Party were serious about this so-called $22 billion it would have put this money in its budget; it would have included this money in its forward estimates. What we have seen from the Labor Party, like in so many other budgets and in so many other slippery figures, is an absolute failure to deliver on what it said it would do.

We have done a lot of hard work, and I want to commend the Minister for Education for the incredible amount of hard work done to fix Labor’s mess when it comes to schools funding. We have had a really astounding result in Corangamite: every school goes forward. In 2017, funding to all 66 schools in Corangamite is equal to $82.967 million. In 2018 this increases by $3.85 million, and over the next 10 years the Commonwealth will provide total funding to Corangamite schools of $1.063 billion—that is more than $1 billion over the next 10 years. That includes an additional $233.9 million, and that is through a fair, needs based funding model.

I do want to make the point that Australian government funding for schools has been increasing for several decades. But while our funding has been growing, our results have been in decline. This is an issue that was never really dealt with by members opposite, who tended to put their heads in the sand in looking at how our dollars were being spent effectively in our schools.

How much funding we provide is, obviously, very important, but what we do with it is what really counts. I reflect on when Julia Gillard first announced the so-called Gonski needs based funding model, before I was elected. What occurred very quickly was that it became evident, consistent with David Gonski’s model, that some schools would either have their funding stagnate or they would actually go backwards, because that is what David Gonski intended. He intended to look after the schools which most needed the funding, including schools in Corangamite. When this list became evident and was published, Julia Gillard quickly—basically—completely demolished David Gonski’s entire policy by committing that no school would be worse off.

The problem with that is that the Labor Party did not have the courage to implement a true needs based model. The very wealthy schools, which David Gonski had recommended might need to take either a small reduction or a freezing of their funding, actually were given the guarantee by Labor—by members opposite—and by the then Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, that they would get an increase. That is not what David Gonski intended.

I say that we have actually demonstrated considerable courage, as a government, in saying to some very wealthy schools, ‘You will not do quite as well because we are implementing a model that puts schools that need funding the most first.’ That is why we really had to do a lot of hard work to fix the mess that Labor left behind—and we have heard a lot about the 27 different agreements and some of the various secret deals that were implemented with a whole range of different sectors of the school communities across Australia.

This bill before the parliament today will implement the government’s commitment to support parental choice and to deliver real, needs based funding and long-term certainty for parents and schools, and it will tie funding to reforms that evidence improvement in student outcomes. The bill will also set Commonwealth schools funding for the next 10 years and beyond. It will apply new indexation arrangements to Commonwealth schools funding and it will transition schools to a common Commonwealth share of the Schooling Resource Standard by 2027.

On 2 May, when this policy was announced, David Gonski joined the Prime Minister and the Minister for Education and said:

… I’m very pleased to hear that the Turnbull Government has accepted the fundamental recommendations of our 2011 report, and particularly regarding a needs-based situation.

… I’m very pleased that there is substantial additional money, even over indexation and in the foreseeable future.

What David Gonski said on that day, with the Prime Minister and with the Minister for Education, is that we are implementing a true needs-based model, which Labor failed to do—and that is the fundamental problem. I will take the interjection from members opposite. They are saying, ‘Rubbish!’ It is not rubbish, because in the original formula some very wealthy schools were actually meant to lose some of their funding or to have some of their funding stagnate. Julia Gillard and the Labor Party panicked. They did not have the courage to implement the true Gonski needs-based funding model. And now we are fixing that mess. I am incredibly proud of what we are doing with needs-based funding. It is wonderful to see Gonski 2.0 being implemented by our government.

I want to reflect particularly on some of the Catholic schools in Corangamite and some of the increases that they will be receiving over the next 10 years. Sacred Heart, Colac, in 2017—$4.007 million and a total over 10 years of $48.5 million, which is an increase of $8.456 million; St Aloysius’ School, Queenscliff—$1.18 million this year from the Commonwealth and a total of $14.4 million over 10 years, which is an increase of $2.5 million; St Brendan’s Catholic Primary School, Coragulac—$570,000 this year and a total of $6.9 million over 10 years, which is an increase of $1.204 million; and Trinity College, which is a wonderful secondary Catholic school in Colac—$9.6 million this year from the Commonwealth $9.6 million and a total of $116 million over 10 years, which is an increase of $20.378 million.

I have been contacted by some parents from Trinity College concerned about their funding, and I want to reiterate to them that, of all the schools in Corangamite—and this is based on the Schooling Resource Standard and trying to deliver a fair and level playing field—Trinity receives more money per student than any other school in Corangamite. In 2017, each student receives $13,172 from the Commonwealth and in 2017 this will rise to $18,416 per student. This is a great outcome for Trinity College in Colac. This is a very substantial increase—$116 million in total over 10 years, which is an increase in excess of $20 million .What does this funding allow all schools to do when it comes to planning their future? It allows them to plan their future with certainty. The schools know that this funding is actually embedded in legislation. It starts—not in years 5 and 6, like Labor did, in the never-never—from 1 January 2018.

Today I am meeting with the principals of Colac Secondary College, Simon Dewar, and Sandra Eglezos, who is the new principal of Belmont High School. I am very pleased that, over 10 years, Belmont High School, which is another incredible school in Corangamite, will be receiving an additional $10 million from the Commonwealth, recognising of course that the majority, 80 per cent, of funding for government schools comes from the states. So we are the minority funder—heading towards 20 per cent. Colac Secondary College, led by the wonderful and very enthusiastic Ian Dewar, will receive an additional $5.45 million over 10 years.

I am incredibly proud of what this bill delivers. It delivers certainty. It delivers fairness. It delivers transparency. Every single school and every parent can now go onto the schools estimator website and look at what their school will receive not only this year or next year but also over the next 10 years. For the first time, schools will now be able to properly plan long term.

I was at the Christian schools gala dinner at Parliament House on Monday night. I sat with the principal of Covenant College in North Geelong, which has a lot of students from Corangamite. I know that schools like Covenant are very pleased with this certainty, with this funding model. One of the plans Covenant has is to provide more funding for those students with a disability. They have some incredible ideas and they really welcome the opportunity to plan long term.

I want to reflect on the comments of Craig Emerson, former Labor minister for tertiary education, in The Australian Financial Review on 23 May 2017. Craig Emerson worked very closely with former Prime Minister Julia Gillard in the previous Parliament. He said:

Now is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to lock in a school-funding system that can give every disadvantaged child a chance of a good education, and Labor has pledged to block it. It’s heartbreaking.

This is a former Labor minister for tertiary education who worked very closely alongside former Prime Minister Julia Gillard in the previous Labor government. He says it is absolutely heartbreaking that we see 10 years of funding certainty, a plan that delivers fairness, and Labor has pledged to block it. He has now basically revealed Labor members for what they are. They will stand in the way of any good policy. It does not matter what we bring to this parliament, the Labor Party is there to do one job and that is to oppose. It is very regrettable that the Labor Party is opposing this policy. It is wonderful for school students, it is wonderful for parents and it is wonderful for this nation. I commend the bill to the House.

25 May 2017