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Transcript 19248

Transcript of Joint Doorstop Interview

Photo of Gillard, Julia

Gillard, Julia

Period of Service: 24/06/2010 to 27/06/2013

More information about Gillard, Julia on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 17/04/2013

Release Type: Video Transcript

Transcript ID: 19248

Melbourne

PM: I'm joined by Peter Garrett, the Minister for School Education and by Mike Symon the local member here, the Member for Deakin.

And a little bit later today we will have the 40th Community Cabinet that we've held as a Government, here in Mike's electorate. And that will be the sixth that we've had in Victoria.

So an opportunity for local community members to raise issues at the top of their mind with us, so I will look forward to that later today.

We've had a great discussion here with the kids about the future of their school, and the future of Australian schools.

We are moving towards the Council of Australian Governments meeting on Friday.

And there I will be urging premiers and chief ministers around the country to do the right thing by the children in their states and territories, and to work with me to ensure that every Australian school is properly resourced - not just now but for the decades and decades to come.

Making sure that every Australian school, all 9,500 of them, have available to them the resources they need to get the kids in their class a great education.

And making sure that we can continue to work with school principals and teachers and parents and school communities on improving Australian education.

I don't want any of our children to be left behind. I want every child to get a great education. I want every school to have the resources to offer a great education.

And I want to make sure our nation gets stronger and smarter and fairer in the future and that all starts in Australian schools.

I thank everybody very much for the discussion we've had. It's been a wide-ranging one.

And I am looking forward to seeing premiers and chief ministers on Friday and saying to them let's get this done for Australia's kids and Australia's future.

I'm very happy to take your questions.

JOURNALIST: But are you worried by pushing the states into making decisions by Friday, Paul McClintock has said this might put the whole plan at risk if you can't get them on board.

PM: Well let's be very clear about how long we've been working on this agenda, and I'll go to Minister Garrett as well.

But this for us has been a five year journey.

It started when the Government was elected and we started getting together information on Australian schools no one had ever had before.

What we inherited from the last Government was a situation where no one had bothered to ask which were the schools in our country that were doing the best, and more importantly, which were the schools which were most disadvantaged.

No one had that information.

They didn't know how schools were going, they didn't know the amount of money in schools.

So we've put that information together.

And then, with that information, we've gone out through our National Partnerships program and worked with schools and proved that if you bring the right combination of resources together with the right teaching and practices in schools, you will lift children's results.

Then we said we'd have a major review of school funding to make the biggest change in 40 years. And we asked eminent Australians, led by David Gonski, to produce that review.

And then we worked intensively following that review. Last September we shared a modelling tool with states and territories.

We gave them more information last year, updated information in February, we have worked on this.

What we announced on the weekend that is absolutely new but shows the commitment of the Federal Government to getting change for Australian schools, is that we would put in $2 for every $1 that state and territories put in to achieve proper resourcing for Australian schools.

Now there's no time like the present for premiers and chief ministers to say ‘Yes, I will do the right thing by the children in the schools in my state or territory.'

We've said we'd keep working until 30 June if that is necessary, but premiers and chief ministers can come along and sign on on Friday, if they don't we will keep working beyond Friday.

We are willing to sign with any state or territory that is willing to start this change with us.

By 30 June, I certainly want to see right around the nation that premiers and chief ministers have said that they will improve Australia's schools.

And Peter, did you want to say something about the process of preparation.

MINISTER GARRETT: Yes, thank you PM.

When the Prime Minister meets with premiers and chief ministers on Friday, they will have in front of them a national plan for school improvement that we have been working on for months, which is noted and will be for consideration by the Prime Minister and the premiers when they meet in Canberra.

That national plan for school improvement has been the product of many hours of effort and work by officials, education officials and others, to make sure that with a new education funding model in place, we've got a plan to make every school in the country a better school.

The major obstacle to Australian schools receiving additional investment through a National Plan for School Improvement is clearly Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne.

Christopher Pyne has said that the Coalition won't support any states who are willing to join with the Commonwealth in providing additional investment into our schools.

And this morning the Opposition Leader returned to his wrecking role by misleading the Australian public and suggesting that in fact the states would be paying the lion's share of the funding offer that is on the table.

Now Mr Abbott has either not been paying any attention at all to the school funding debate, or alternatively he's just landed a classic Abbott fib out into the 24 hour news cycle to confuse people about what's actually on the table.

The additional thing that Mr Abbott said which suggests to me that he hasn't been paying attention is that he doesn't believe that there's any detail in the National Plan for School Improvement.

Whilst at the same time, Coalition education ministers in the states have sighted this plan, which includes things like more principal autonomy, lifting teaching standards and the like; the very things that the Opposition Leader this morning identified.

So Tony Abbott can't be the wrecker on seeing schools around Australia get more support and more investment from this proposition.

What he needs to do is recognise that what we have proposed, what the Prime Minister has brought forward, is a funding offer which would see us effectively pay $2 for every $1 invested to make sure that every school in the country gets the support it needs, and every student the support they need to be the best they can.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, just on another matter. Why did your cabinet reject recommendations to take a tougher approach against Telstra over the NBN?

PM: We don't talk about cabinet deliberations, but whether it's the NBN or whether it's other issues that we deal with round the cabinet table, a whole lot of options are put and canvassed and then we make the best decisions.

JOURNALIST: And on industrial relations reforms that Bill Shorten is working on, will you listen to businesses and dump these reforms? I mean, they seem quite against them.

PM: We will do the right thing by the Australian people, that's what we need to do as a Government.

In workplace relations, inevitably there are different views between business and between employees. I think from a common sense perspective people understand that.

What we've always done in workplace relations, and what we will continue to do, is make sure that the pendulum in industrial relations is right in the middle. We are balancing the interests of business and of employees.

One of the reasons we swept away the very hated Work Choices is that it had taken that pendulum and put it right on the employer side, so employees had no rights and no choice. We thought that was wrong, we put it in the centre and we'll keep it in the centre.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, how much will the plunge in the European carbon price cost the federal budget?

PM: We'll update budget figures and parameters at the appropriate time, which is budget night.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, should Tony Abbott stand down whilst he's subject to litigation?

PM: As I understand it there's a legal matter here and I'm not intending to comment on the legal matter.

But there's no system in our politics for people standing down when there's a civil matter in progress.

JOURNALIST: Is Australia's emissions trading scheme under threat after, overnight, with the EU's collapse of their carbon market?

PM: We are doing what we said we would when we legislated for carbon pricing. We are in the fixed price phase of the scheme and we will move to emissions trading on 1 July 2015.

JOURNALIST: Well what can Australia do about the fact that our carbon price is about six times higher than the European price?

PM: We've got the design of the scheme, it's legislated, it's there, fixed price for the first three years followed by an emissions trading scheme.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, Pauline Hanson might be running against Joel Fitzgibbon. Do you (inaudible)?

PM: I'm not going to be an electoral commentator, but obviously I don't agree with Ms Hanson on any of her policies of plans for the nation's future.

And if she chooses to run anywhere in the country, then we will oppose her as we have opposed her in the past.

JOURNALIST: And Tony Abbott is riding his bike around the country. What do you think he has to gain out of (inaudible)?

PM: Mr Abbott, as I understand it, is on a bike ride for charity, so raising money for charity is a good thing.

What I would also say is I'm sure that Mr Abbott's route will take him past a large number of schools, and when he cycles past those schools I hope he looks across at those schools and think to himself why would he want to cut funding to those schools to the bone?

JOURNALIST: Would the Government ever consider dropping the price of carbon?

PM: We've legislated the scheme and the scheme is there.

JOURNALIST: There's a suggestion this morning in a report that a part of people's superannuation will be quarantined to pay for healthcare costs in the future. Is that something your government would look at?

PM: No.

JOURNALIST: FOI figures, just quickly, show the mining tax is possibly a shambles. Do you agree with that?

PM: Certainly not. The mining tax is a profits-based tax. That's how it was designed, and so it is inevitable and part of the design of the mining tax that it goes up and down as things like commodity prices go up and down.

Thank you very much.

Transcript 19248