Sunday, 19 May 2013

O'Farrell Needs to pick up the phone to Abbott and Fight for $5 billion Gonski funding

Premier Barry O'Farrell needs to pick up the phone to Tony Abbott in Canberra today and fight for the $5 billion in Gonski funding NSW schools and students were promised, Opposition Leader John Robertson said today.

Last night in his budget reply speech, Tony Abbott conspicuously refused to commit to the Gonski school reforms and the $5 billion deal that the Gillard Government has already signed with Barry O'Farrell.

"The Premier should be picking up the phone to Tony Abbott today and demanding his bipartisan support for the $5 billion Gonski school funding reforms in NSW," Mr Robertson said.

"NSW schools stand to miss out on $5 billion under a Tony Abbott-led Government.

"The Gonski reforms are a once in a lifetime opportunity and Tony Abbott is the only person standing in the way of this huge funding boost for NSW schools."

Mr Robertson said he was proud that a vigorous community campaign backed by Labor had forced Barry O 'Farrell to put back on the table the $1.7 billion he had cut from education by signing last month's deal with the Prime Minister.

"I campaigned up and down NSW against the O'Farrell Government's education cuts – and my priority now is ensuring NSW receives every cent of the $5 billion it was promised."

Shadow Education Minister Carmel Tebbutt said: “Mr Abbott’s refusal to support the Gonski reforms is a big concern for NSW parents, students and teachers." 

"NSW schools deserve complete funding certainty.

“If Mr O'Farrell and Mr Piccoli are serious about delivering Gonski, they will demand full support from their Coalition colleagues in Canberra today."

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