Labor’s federal representatives should stop misleading Territorians over Commonwealth funding for NT schools and acknowledge – as the NT’s Education Minister Eva Lawler has – that the Territory’s schools will be better off under the Coalition’s school funding reforms.
“The Member for Solomon, Luke Gosling – not content with pretending this week to be the ‘Federal Male Health Representative’ in an unauthorised newspaper advertisement, despite being in Opposition – has made the ludicrous claim on Facebook that all of the Territory’s government schools will lose funding,” Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion, said.
“Labor’s NT Senator Malarndirri McCarthy made the same claim on her Facebook page. And last month, the Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon, issued a media release to claim NT schools would be worse off under the reforms.
“The facts are very different to Labor’s spin. NT government schools get an additional $39 million over the next four years and $69 million over the next decade.
“Luke Gosling voted against more funding for NT schools when the Government’s Gonski needs-based funding plan passed the House of Representatives late last month. Mr Gosling let Territory parents and children down by not supporting the Government’s reforms.
“Labor is also mounting a disgraceful scare campaign against the Government’s funding for students with disabilities. The Coalition Government’s funding allocation for students with disability loading is based purely on need and the judgement of NT teachers about how much support they think each student with disability needs.
“Under the Gonski needs-based plan, funding for students with disabilities will move from one flat rate to levels of support that are aligned with the type of adjustment assistance that students need – supplementary, substantive and extensive.
“For the first time, the level of support NT students with a disability will receive will directly correlate to their needs. Should the Territory’s needs exceed the projected $17 million, this funding will be provided.
“The Gunner Government has admitted the Coalition’s real needs-based schools funding model will deliver more money for Northern Territory schools.
“When asked on ABC radio on 18 May whether Territory schools would be better off under the Coalition’s funding model, Minister Lawler said: ‘We are getting more money.’
“If Minister Lawler was good enough to acknowledge the truth of the matter, so should Mr Gosling, Mr Snowdon and Senator McCarthy.
“Labor’s Territory federal representatives should focus on the facts and cut down on the spin. Territorians deserve no less.”