Skip to content

Credlin, Sky News, 15 February, 2024

Peta Credlin: Well, I touched on briefly last night. We’re going to get back into tonight. This is Labor’s push to get so-called truth telling into our school curriculum. Here’s what Indigenous Minister Linda Burney had to say yesterday:

Minister BurneyThe issue of truth telling is incredibly important, and there are many, ways in which that can happen, including school curriculum.

Peta Credlin: Joining me now is Shadow Education Minister, Victorian Senator, Sarah Henderson. Well, here I was thinking, Sarah, that we rejected The Voice last year. But it doesn’t matter. I mean, these guys are going to push on anyway. And if they can’t convince voting Australians to go down the path of the Uluru Statement, they’re going after our kids with this truth telling nonsense. What are you hearing about this?

Senator Henderson: Well, Peta, great to join you. And I raised this issue in senate estimates today. And I think to be fair, our education officials were quite embarrassed by what Linda Burney had to say. This is clearly a thought bubble, but it’s another attempt by Labor to use the school curriculum in a way which indoctrinates children rather than focus on educating them. And I would say to Linda Burney and to the Minister for Education Jason Clare, please focus on the foundations. Get back to basics, focus on improving our literacy and numeracy. One in three kids are currently failing NAPLAN. The standards are just not good enough in our country and frankly, parents are sick of having the national curriculum hijacked by these agendas. We don’t want activism in the classroom, Peta. We don’t want indoctrination. And this is just another attempt by the Labor Government.

Peta Credlin: And I think those points you touched on there, Sarah, I think they partly explain why there’s been this massive spike in private school enrolments across the country. I mean, private school enrolments are growing faster than kids are going to public schools and I think part of that is they want a back-to-basics curriculum. You don’t get that generally in a government school, but they also want values to be back in the curriculum. They want all the, you know, the respect, the accountability, parents being more engaged and having a seat at the table in a way that they don’t get in a lot of government schools. I mean, that’s part of the problem. And we’re not talking just about rich people here either. I mean, we both know you and I, lots of parents who work two jobs just to meet the fees of private schools.

Senator Henderson: Look, that’s right, Peta. But I have to say, there’s a private school in Sydney that I took issue with because it’s teaching critical race theory. So, there are certainly some issues in some private schools as well. But we have seen a surge in enrolments in private schools. Many parents want to choose a school which reflects their values and beliefs, and particularly religious schools. But what’s really concerning Peta is that there is evidence of increasing hostility by this government towards the non-government school sector. And the best example of that is the Productivity Commission recommendation to basically get rid of school building funds, which would cost private schools and religious schools $3 billion a year. I sought confirmation today that this shocking, egregious proposal would not be going ahead and frankly, got lots of waffle and no great certainty. So, in a number of very important respects, it’s really concerning to see what this government is doing to non-government schools.

Peta Credlin: You managed to get an admission out of the head of the education department today. They’ve let the taxpayer down. But I mean, I can’t believe the money they’re spending on these lavish lunches?

Senator Henderson: Oh, look, it’s absolutely appalling holding departmental meetings in high-end restaurants. I’ve said, `Why can’t you hold a meeting in a meeting room with a cup of tea and a biscuit?’. We’ve had to shame the Education Minister, Jason Clare, into changing his policy. “Restaurant rorts” galore. There was improper use of taxpayer spending left, right and centre. It really is appalling. We’ve shone a very big light on it in estimates and I am pleased that the government has now changed its policy. But it shouldn’t have come to this. And this is just another example of this government wasting taxpayers’ money. I mean, many families, Peter, are struggling to put food on the table. They can barely, you know, pay the grocery bill. And yet, you know, this government is putting its departmental officials and various task groups and working groups in high-end restaurants. It’s totally offensive. And as I say, another shocking example of this government failing to look after taxpayers’ money.

Peta Credlin: Look, as I was driving into work today, I heard that there’s still about 80,000 Victorian homes without power. I mean, this has been a catastrophic week for Victorians down here in relation to, I guess, the vulnerability of our electrical network that experts have been warning and warning about for months.

Senator Henderson: Look, it’s absolutely shocking. I mean, this Labor government, combined with the ideological zeal of the Victorian Labor government, is sending us over the cliff. And frankly, the fact that we have a gas ban on new home builds in Victoria is absolutely shocking. We depend on gas, we depend on coal. And as we know, there was those high-voltage towers that basically collapsed. The government wants to roll those out en masse, of course, putting communities and particularly farming communities at risk. It is just appalling. They have really got this policy wrong and Victorians are paying the price. And we warned the government that we would see blackouts and there is more of this to come, which just goes to show how bad they have energy policy in this country.

Peta Credlin: Sarah Henderson, thank you.

Share this