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ADJOURNMENT: Mitchell Electorate: Education

Mr CADMAN (Mitchell) (9.24 p.m.) —I have some really terrific news for the parliament: I am going to tell the House tonight what this government is doing for education in my electorate. It is just tremendous. It is about time the Premier of New South Wales, Bob Carr, got his act together, put his action where his mouth is and increased funding to education in New South Wales at the same rate as the Commonwealth is increasing funding to both government and non-government schools.

Listen to this growth in new apprenticeship commencements in Mitchell; it is fabulous. In 1999-2000 there were 1,096 new apprentices in Mitchell. Last year there were 1,745—an increase of 75 per cent in just two years. The funds allocated to the new apprenticeship incentive grew from $1.53 million to $2.16 million in the same period. I turn to higher education. We have a wonderful campus of the Western Sydney Institute of TAFE. In 2002 New South Wales received approximately 337 million Commonwealth dollars, plus indexation through the National Training Authority.

I now turn to schools, because they are so significant. I have one of the greatest youth populations in the nation in the electorate of Mitchell. First of all, I will look at capital grants. I will deal with non-government schools first. In 1996, capital grants to non-government schools were $730,000; there were none in 1997, but in 1998 they totalled $150,000; in 1999, they were $400,000; and in 2000, $250,000—a total over the period 1996-2002 of $1.53 million. I turn to government schools. This is a government that the Labor Party would have you believe hates government schools. I am a product of a government school.

Mr Brough —So am I.

Mr CADMAN —So is the minister at the table. We are proud of government schools. Listen to this for a far-sighted and committed government. In 1996, $1.45 million went to government schools; in 1997, $400,000; in 1998, $3.4 million; in 1999, zero; in 2000, $3.5 million; in 2001, $1.4 million; and, in 2002, $10.8 million—a total over that period of $21.12 million to build schools in the electorate of Mitchell. In the same period, non-government schools—and the growth has been as significant—received $1.5 million.

Mr Brough —It is 10 to one.

Mr CADMAN —It is more like 20 to one. There is favouritism towards government schools' capital growth in the electorate of Mitchell. The state governments pay the salaries in government schools, and the Commonwealth pays the recurrent grants in non-government schools. Of course, there is a large salary component—$157.8 million—in the non-government schools in Mitchell. I want to mention some of these schools because they are just fabulous and it is a joy to go to them. Baulkham Hills High School received $845,000 over two years to build a new auditorium.

Beaumont Hills Primary School received $3.75 million to build the new school. I was there for the opening, and John Aquilina—no wonder he is not minister anymore—came and claimed the benefit of paying for that school for the state government. It was all Commonwealth money. I was generous to John on the day and I regret that I was—but he is a nice bloke. I think he probably lost that portfolio because he did not acknowledge the Commonwealth sufficiently.

Castle Hill Public School received $3.4 million. Kellyville High School, a brand new high school, received $9.5 million in 2001-02. Kellyville Public School received $1.8 million. North Rocks Public School received $500,000. Rouse Hill Public School received $1.2 million. As I have already mentioned, smaller amounts went to such non-government schools as Arndell College, Lorien Novalis, Marian College, and the William Branwhite Clarke College in Kellyville. It just goes to show that this government has its priorities and its spending right. It knows where the kids are, it wants to support families and education, and it is fairly distributing funds to both government and non-government schools. The state governments need to pull their weight. Bob Carr needs to acknowledge that he is not doing his job properly. (Time expired)

Question agreed to.

Author: Alan Cadman MP
Source: House Hansard - 4th March 2003
Release Date: 13 Mar 2003


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