State Liberals should be pushing for Gonski

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, has warned that the Liberal Government cannot be trusted with rural school reform.

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, has warned that the Liberal Government cannot be trusted with rural school reform.

Ms Chesters said the Napthine Government’s recent talk of reform to rural and regional schools was out-of-touch.

“What the state Liberal Government should be doing is pressuring their Liberal mates in Canberra to fund the Gonski reforms that include increases in funding for our rural schools,” she said.

“Our schools in regional Victoria were going to be big winners with extra loading for rural and small schools as well as extra funding for students with special needs.

“The Gonski reforms are how we can close the gap between regional and metropolitan schools.”

Ms Chesters said it was well known that rural students have limited curriculum choices, higher dropout rates, and lack of access to TAFE and university.

“That's why the state and federal funding cuts to TAFE and universities are particularly disappointing,” she said.

“When it comes to education the Liberals, state and federal are the masters of saying one thing prior to an election, then doing completely the opposite after.

“Before the federal election Tony Abbott said he was on a unity ticket with Labor when it came to education.

“Post-election Tony Abbott has scrapped the vital education reforms and extra funding based on the Gonski recommendations.

“Budget papers reveal that the federal Liberal Government is cutting $80 billion in health and education funding.

“It's another example of Abbott's broken promises to central Victorians. Liberals cannot be trusted with education reform.”