Skip links and keyboard navigation

    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Grace Grace

    Federal Budget gets an ‘F’ for Education Funding

    Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Grace Grace

    Wednesday, April 03, 2019

    Federal Budget gets an ‘F’ for Education Funding

    Queensland Education Minister Grace Grace has slammed Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg’s “hollow rhetoric” on education in the Federal Budget.

    “Last night in his budget address, Josh Frydenberg described education as “the first defence of the nation” and “critical to our prosperity, harmony and advancement as a country”,” Ms Grace said.

    “However, the budget papers reveal that these words are nothing but hollow rhetoric.

    “The detail in the budget papers expose the Morrison Government’s failure in relation to providing fair, sector-blind education funding, including any increased funding for students with a disability.

    “Perhaps the greatest failure with regards to education funding is the lack of a concrete, long-term funding commitment to universal access for kindergarten in the year before school.

    “Instead, funding is only provided for yet another short-term, 12-month extension of the National Partnership Agreement. This will be the sixth short term extension since 2013.

    “Stakeholders across the early childhood sector, organisations such as Early Childhood Australia, the Australian Childcare Alliance and United Voice, have been united in their calls for the Morrison Government to provide long-term funding certainty for early childhood.

    “The Morrison Government has again failed to respond on this important issue and after six years have failed to work with states on this vital issue.”

    Ms Grace said the budget also failed to provide Queensland’s public schools with their fair share of additional funding similar to the $1.2 billion slush fund being provided to non-government schools as a “choice and affordability fund.”

    “Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg have also failed to restore any of the $2.1 billion that Queensland would have received had the Federal Govt not terminated the National Education Reform Agreement in 2017, which equals a cut of $182 million in funding for Queensland this year alone,” she said.

    “The devil is also in the detail when it comes to the Local School Community Fund for upgrades to libraries, playgrounds and classrooms.

    “The $30 million fund equates to just $200,000 per federal electorate and with some electorates home to up to dozens of schools, they will be fighting over crumbs and it is a cruel insult.”

    Ms Grace said it was clear that only the election of a Labor Government would ensure Queensland got its fair share of education funding.

    “Bill Shorten has already committed nearly $650 million for Queensland state schools over three years from January 2020 and an additional $300 million to ensure students with a disability get the support they need at school,” Ms Grace said.

    “Labor has also committed to a new five-year $1.75b national partnership funding agreement for kindergarten and extend universal access to kindergarten for three-year-olds from 2021.

    “This is the long-term vision and funding commitment the sector has been crying out for and exactly what we need to give our children a great start in life.”

    [ENDS]

    Media contact: Scott Chandler – 0439 478 472