Rebuild Public Education in Shortland

November 2nd, 2001 by The Editor

Joan Lambert, The Greens Candidate for Shortland today called on the Labor and Liberal Parties to match The Greens education policy. The Greens are calling for an annual $4.45 billion increase in federal spending on public schools, TAFEs and universities – which would provide a massive boost for education in Shortland and across the Hunter.

“The Greens proposal would provide a real boost for schools across the Shortland area, TAFEs at Belmont, Charlestown, Wyong, Glendale and Newcastle – that service the residents of Shortland, and would dramatically increase the funding for Newcastle University both at the Newcastle and Central Coast campus,” Ms Lambert said.
Ms Lambert – a former school and TAFE teacher – said, “The Greens recognise that there are a lot of young families, students, and unemployed across the Shortland electorate whose future prospects are more likely to be improved by education than any other aspect of government.”

“The Greens proposals are sensible and achievable – they will raise public education funding to average OECD levels as advocated by Rupert Murdoch and the Business Council of Australia. It is possible to put hope back into the system without blowing a hole in the federal budget,” Ms Lambert said.

“The Greens will fund our plan by rescinding John Howard’s cuts in the corporate taxes, by closing the tax loopholes on trusts and by ending the most damaging aspects of private school funding – which supports wealthy private schools in Sydney and Melbourne that the residents of Shortland can’t afford.”

“We have public schools closing, physical infrastructure is crumbling and teachers’ pay is a national disgrace. Yet, the Howard government has abandoned the public system and is pouring funds into the private system at an unprecedented rate. The future of comprehensive public education is at risk.”

“THE GREENS are calling on Jill Hall and the Labor Party and Brian Perrem of the Liberals to match these proposals. Shortland needs real dollars for real students with real needs. The Greens have shown that this can achieved in a fair and fiscally responsible fashion,” Ms Lambert concluded.

THE GREENS will:

� put extra $4.45B into public education
� repeal the States Grants Act
� set up a national inquiry into School funding
� give an extra $697 per student in public education (compares to the $17 offered by Beazley and the 0$ offered by Kemp)
� freeze in funding to the wealthiest private schools
� support universal student unionism
� abolish HECS
� give an extra $2.1B for universities including a 20% increase in per student (EFTSU) funding
� increase Indigenous support funding and Abstudy to 1996 levels
� give an extra $127.6M (5 years) for Australian Research Council funding
� reinstate ?growth’ funding to TAFE – $600M per year
� implement a national strategy for environmental education across all formal and informal education sectors.

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