Gonski funding dispute cartoon
Gonski funding dispute cartoon

Gonski funding dispute

THE funding of the Federal Government's Gonski review has come into question, as the Prime Minister encourages the state and territory leaders to sign up to the new $6.4 billion model by the start of next year.

With only a slice of the Federal Government's budget going towards the innovative funding scheme, the states and territories have been left to pick up the pieces of the funding model.

This comes in light of Prime Minister Julia Gillard's address to the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies conference in Perth on Tuesday, where she encouraged the resource and mining sector to lobby the state governments to help fund the scheme.

"The mining industry knows a thing or two about lobbying;" Ms Gillard said.

"Let's say you can be very influential when you get together,

"So use that tremendous organising power to say to the premiers and chief ministers 'Get on board with the national plan for school improvement'."

On Tuesday Ms Gillard announced the $6.4 billion scheme, which aims to improve the existing funding model for public and private schools across Australia.

Queensland Teachers' Union Central Queensland representative Barry Thomson said the Federal Government had made the first step in the right direction for education funding in Queensland.

"We welcomed the Prime Minister's announcement, but we would like Gonski to be implemented to national legislation sooner rather than later," Mr Thomson said.

Mr Thomson said Gladstone QTU members would continue to lobby local members of state and federal parliament to ensure the legislation would be implemented before the end of the year.

Queensland Minister for Education John-Paul Langbroek said, despite being repeatedly asked, the Prime Minister gave no details about the costs of the plan to the impending State Government costs for the plan.

"It is a bit rich for the Federal Government to impose itself in an area of state responsibility and then ask the states to pay for their grand ideas," Mr Langbroek said.

"Given state Labor's debt legacy the Queensland Government cannot afford the bill being imposed by the Federal Government."

A representative for Ms Gillard said the Federal Government was willing to foot most of the bill to implement the Gonski plan as schools deserved more money.

"In fact, the Prime Minister has made clear the Commonwealth is willing to stump up a greater share than we currently pay," the representative said.



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