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representatives vote 2020-03-04#3

Edited by mackay

on 2020-03-20 13:27:55

Title

  • Australian Education Amendment (Direct Measure of Income) Bill 2020 - Second Reading - Stop Mr Wallace
  • Australian Education Amendment (Direct Measure of Income) Bill 2020 - Second Reading - Stop Mr Wallace from speaking

Description

  • The majority voted against a [motion](https://www.openaustralia.org.au/debate/?id=2020-03-04.25.6) to stop Fisher MP [Andrew Wallace](https://theyvoteforyou.org.au/people/representatives/fisher/andrew_wallace) (Liberal) from speaking in this debate, which means she can continue. These motions are known as "*gagging motions*".
  • The majority voted against a [motion](https://www.openaustralia.org.au/debate/?id=2020-03-04.25.6) to stop Fisher MP [Andrew Wallace](https://theyvoteforyou.org.au/people/representatives/fisher/andrew_wallace) (Liberal) from speaking in this debate, which means he can continue. These motions are known as "*gagging motions*".
representatives vote 2020-03-04#3

Edited by mackay

on 2020-03-20 13:23:15

Title

  • Bills — Australian Education Amendment (Direct Measure of Income) Bill 2020; Second Reading
  • Australian Education Amendment (Direct Measure of Income) Bill 2020 - Second Reading - Stop Mr Wallace

Description

  • <p class="speaker">Celia Hammond</p>
  • <p>In the remaining time available to me I want to outline that the new method of calculating funding for non-government schools, the direct measure of income, is a very positive move. However, as with any change, there will be differential impacts on schools under the new method. Indeed, of the 13 independent schools in my electorate, seven will move to a higher level of funding, two will stay the same and four will move to a lower level of funding.</p>
  • <p>I've already been in contact with the schools which are going to have a lower level of funding, and I, like the minister and this government, do appreciate the concerns that they have expressed. To assist them with the transition, the government has put in place a lengthy transition period, over 10 years; $1.2 billion in the new Choice and Affordability Fund to help those schools; and a robust review process, which is currently being developed, which will enable independent schools that believe they need to have their new funding relooked at to go through this process. The things that they might request to be considered would include sudden changes to local economic circumstances; recent significant changes in student enrolment numbers; unique circumstances of the school community, such as where the parents or guardians have a greater number of dependents; and other exceptional circumstances.</p>
  • The majority voted against a [motion](https://www.openaustralia.org.au/debate/?id=2020-03-04.25.6) to stop Fisher MP [Andrew Wallace](https://theyvoteforyou.org.au/people/representatives/fisher/andrew_wallace) (Liberal) from speaking in this debate, which means she can continue. These motions are known as "*gagging motions*".
  • <p>By way of finishing, I would note that the purpose of this bill is to implement the recommendation of the National School Resourcing Board. It will establish a new and more targeted and accurate way to calculate the capacity of families to contribute to the cost of sending their kids to a non-government school. It is a needs based model which is designed to get the best results for students, parents and teachers. The more targeted and direct measure of income will make school funding more equitable by ensuring that funding flows to the schools that need it most. Under this model, by 2029, students with the same need in the same sector will attract the same level of support.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Chris Hayes</p>
  • <p>To start, Labor supports the basis of the Australian Education Amendment (Direct Measure of Income) Bill 2020. I certainly support the amendment moved by the member for Sydney; however, the bill, as it's formed, makes a lot of sense, particularly for areas that I have the honour to represent in Western Sydney.</p>
  • <p>As I've spoken about on many occasions, my electorate is one of the most multicultural in the country. As a matter of fact, I receive the majority of refugees that come to Australia. One thing that I've learnt from the many years of representing people in my community, particularly those who have come here fleeing violence, fleeing torture and fleeing oppression, is that they not only come here for a new start; they also bring with them a passionate belief in education. From their backgrounds, they know that the difference between success and otherwise&#8212;particularly in a country like Australia&#8212;starts with a good education for their children. So it's not uncommon in my community to see the parents working two or three jobs to ensure their kids get the best opportunities in education that they can possibly give them.</p>
  • <p>The people I represent are not rich; my community's certainly not a rich community. As a matter of fact, the average household income&#8212;not the average income, but the average household income&#8212;is a tad over $60,000 a year, so it's not rich. But those mums and dads out there understand that giving their kids a future starts with a very good education. I would have thought that's one thing that we should all subscribe to in this place: every child needs to have the opportunity of a great education. It should not be subject to politics. One thing that we should be able to agree upon is that every dollar that we invest in education is an investment in this country's future. It's not just for a particular child or a particular community; everything we put into education invests in the future of our country. As I said at the start, I see a lot of benefits in what's being proposed in this bill in changing the identification models for determining funding for independent and systemic Catholic schools, which do play a significant role in providing education to children and certainly kids in my area in Fowler.</p>
  • <p>Essentially the bill builds on recommendations made by the National School Resourcing Board, which recommends moving away from the SES model, the socioeconomic status model, for determining the funding and moving to a new model based on the direct measure of income. I understand from speaking to principals that there have been issues over time with the SES model, trying to work out the period over the calculation which it's made; whereas the new model of direct measurement of income will be averaged over a three-year period on a rolling basis. That will help avoid or minimise the fluctuations that can occur, particularly when there are areas of high casualised employment in our community. Sometimes people are going to earn more in a particular year than another year. So this is probably a far more accurate measure for determining the basis of the contribution to be made on a schools basis.</p>
  • <p>Because it is a significant change, it will be phased in, which will take some time to do. It will also cost some money to do that. Because you're changing the model and, without putting too fine a point on it, there will be winners and losers, to ensure that there is fairness and balance, the government has also provided $3.2 billion over the next 10 years to the non-government schools as they transition to the new measure. That's in addition to the $170.8 million available in the 2019 year to give funding certainty to those schools.</p>
  • <p>Further, there will be a $1.2 billion choice of affordability fund to address specific challenges in the non-government school sector. As I say, there will be winners and losers. There will probably be some challenges in the transition to the new model. This fund will help smooth those challenges out. It essentially ensures that schools won't miss out and, more importantly, the kids won't miss out in respect to that funding.</p>
  • <p>The measure as it's proposed will be far fairer in determining the funding relationship between the government and non-government school sectors. Over the last couple of years I have got a lot of comments from the Catholic Education Commission, and I note that they are certainly supportive of this measure, as they think it will be a far more accurate evaluation of a school's capacity in respect of its funding. The Catholic Education Commission have indicated that they estimate that three-quarters of their schools will receive a more favourable treatment under the capacity-to-contribute formula under this mechanism than before.</p>
  • <p>I'm certainly not deaf to the concerns of others. I note particularity the concerns expressed by the Australian Education Union, particularly in their involvement in representing teachers in the government sector. They've made a lot of comments, and I don't disagree with much of what they've said, by the way. It's not that they're arguing against the provisioning to non-government schools, but they are saying that the federal government is really taking their eye off government schools, state schools for instance. The government won the last election. Regrettably we have to concede that. But in the last two elections alone, education, along with health, has been front and centre in the political contest. I remember back in 2013 when the then education minister&#8212;I'm pretty sure was Christopher Pyne&#8212;maybe feeling a little under the pump at that stage, wanted to talk about how there would not be daylight between Labor's policy on education and their policy on education. As a matter of fact, he went on to say that of the Liberal Party, 'We match Labor's promises on education dollar for dollar.' In other words, he made it very clear in this place that it doesn't matter which party you'll vote for; you'll get the same outcome in education.</p>
  • <p>That was in 2013. The very next budget came in May 2014, and what do you think they did? They went and cut education. Despite having a promise that we're going to say that education is a sacred cow and we all believe that our investment in education is an investment in the country's future&#8212;despite going through all that rhetoric&#8212;the very first budget opportunity that they had to prove that, they cut it. So they've got a track record. Under Tony Abbott they dumped the reforms designed to lift the standards of basic reading, writing and mathematics, and under Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull they abandoned proper and fair funding for schools. This mob opposite have a track record when it comes to talking about education. They talk the big game but deliver precious little.</p>
  • <p>And it's not just what they do in relation to schools. Education is pretty holistic. Education is about primary and secondary schools certainly. It's also about universities and, importantly for a country like Australia that needs to increase its skill base, it's about TAFE and vocational education. In their next budgets, they actually moved to cut TAFE funding by $3 billion. It's just not by any accident now that we have 150,000 fewer apprentices at a time when we need a skill base in this country. The only way that they are actually going to get the skills is by importing them.</p>
  • <p>Our children deserve to know that we are doing everything we can to ensure that they get the proper education and they can move to sustainable, secure, well-paid jobs in this country. Part of that equation is also about our tertiary education system of universities. What do you think they did in respect of universities? They cut $2.2 billion out of our universities. Our universities are forced to take more overseas students to be able to run their programs. Our universities are forced to do more work in collaboration with supportive industries to support education. I think the kids of Australia deserve to know that we in this place, for the limited time that we actually get to be here, are going to do everything we can to secure their futures, and simply cutting education is not the way to do it.</p>
  • <p>But I get back to where I started. I do think the direct measurement of income will be of tangible benefit in calculating the contribution targets for the non-government schools sector. I think it will certainly level the playing field in areas where there may be a systemic Catholic school or low socioeconomic area alongside a more elite school. As it is at the moment, it's calculated on their area. If they're in a low-SES area geographically, that means they will both be treated the same. Now, that should not be the case. We must make sure that every child gets the benefit of a good, well-rounded education in every school.</p>
  • <p>On that basis, I support the amendment moved by the member for Sydney and I also support the underlying rationale contained in the government's proposition in the bill before us.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Andrew Wallace</p>
  • <p>I rise in support of the Australian Education Amendment (Direct Measure of Income) Bill 2020. If there's one thing that we learnt from the disastrous years of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd government, it is that just throwing money at a problem is never the way to solve it. The solution to every problem, according to members opposite, is to spend more, with no thought about where it's going, and then, when that doesn't work and you run out of cash, you spend even more. That's why Labor presided over a budget deficit that peaked at $54&#189; billion and it's why, nearly a decade later, they went to the last election proposing an additional $387 billion in new taxes. Those opposite have learned nothing from that defeat, as that remains their policy today.</p>
  • <p>The coalition, however, understand that solving a complex problem requires a sophisticated, practical response. In the first instance, we look to reform, not to raiding ordinary Australians' bank accounts. Second, if we do find that more money really is needed to solve the problem, then we deliver that investment. But, when we do so, we introduce a third vital element, so often missed by members opposite when they sit on these government benches. We make sure investment is delivered equitably and delivered to the places where it will make the greatest difference in solving the problems. When it comes to the problems facing education in this country, we've applied this practical approach, and the bill before the House is a central contribution.</p>
  • <p>It is certain that we need to make improvements to the Australian education system; change is needed. The latest report of the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, published in December last year, showed that, since 2000, Australian students' performance in reading, maths and science has been in relative decline. Though on a par with similar countries&#8212;New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan&#8212;our students' performance has been slipping compared with important near-neighbours like China, Singapore and Korea. These declines have been consistent across governments on both sides of politics, with some of the largest declines coming during the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years.</p>
  • <p>As the Minister for Education has said, the time has come for us to change direction. But the government understands that simply throwing money at the problem is not enough. Funding to education has been increasing every year, yet performance has not increased. Clearly, as the coalition have always said, we need more than just money; we need reform as well as investment and we need our investment delivered to the right places. This government has been getting on with the job of delivering all three. First, in partnership with the states and territories&#8212;<i>(Quorum formed) </i>As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, first, in partnership with the states and territories, we're rolling out a generation-defining reform in how&#8212;</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Warren Snowdon</p>
  • <p>I move:</p>
  • <p class="italic">That the Member be no longer heard.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Tony Smith</p>
  • <p>The question is that the member for Fisher be no further heard.</p>
  • <p></p>