One of the major problems with the Abbott government's budget this year—aside, of course, from the fact that it is still fundamentally unfair—is its lack of vision for the future. That is particularly the case when it comes to education. Education should be seen as an investment, not a cost, but that is the exact opposite of what this government sees. Instead it has cut $30 billion from our classrooms for the next decade, including the vital fifth and sixth years of the Gonski reforms.
That is, of course, after the Prime Minister said before the election that there was an absolute 'unity ticket' when it came to school funding. Now we read in the press that the government's own Federation green paper, currently being considered by the Liberals, includes plans to charge compulsory government fees to parents who send their kids to public schools and even suggests ending federal funding for public schools altogether. This is absolutely outrageous.
By contrast, Labor has a plan for Australia's education system—a vision for this nation. We have a plan to boost coding in our schools and STEM in our universities. We have a plan to invest in our innovators and young entrepreneurs to unlock their potential for the jobs of tomorrow. A Shorten Labor government will protect Australia's public education system and ensure every student is given every possible opportunity to succeed and thrive.