Posted on 26. Jun, 2013 in News

Denis Napthine cannot be trusted when it comes to delivering for students and schools in Victoria, Shadow Minister for Education James Merlino said today.

Today during parliamentary question time, Premier Denis Napthine announced that his government was ‘no closer’ to signing up to the ‘National Plan for School Improvement’, that adopts the recommendations from the Gonski education review.

Mr Merlino said that Denis Napthine’s simplistic suggestion that the Federal Government contribute $2 for every $1 ignores the fact that there is a complex funding formula behind this which many other states have already signed up to.

“All that we can take from the Premiers ‘stunt’ in question time today is that he is not interested in getting the best deal for Victorian students but more interested in political posturing,” Mr Merlino said.

“Only last sitting week the Napthine Government dismissed the ‘Better Schools’ funding as nothing more than a ‘political slogan’, however today has brought all negotiations back to square one as he has dismissed the school reforms.

“The Opposition welcomes any move to sign up to Gonski and has been continually urging the Napthine Government to do so.

“The action of Premier Napthine to send a letter to the Prime Minister at the eleventh hour asking for amendments to legislation that has already passed is simply embarrassing.

“Denis Napthine has dodged calls from the Prime Minister’s office all week and sent a fax to the Federal Government five minutes before raising the issue in the house at question time today.

“What a slap in the face to the thousands of school children and hundreds of schools across the state, it’s too little too late for the Napthine Government.

“Claims today also by the Napthine Government that they have made ‘record investments’ in education in Victoria is a blatant lie.

“How can Victorians trust Mr Napthine who has presided over massive cuts to education where his government has ripped $625 million from schools and $1.2 billion from the TAFE sector?

“The last time the Liberals said ‘trust us’ on education they promised to make teachers the highest paid.

“In Victoria under the Napthine Government we have seen nothing but cut after cut to the states education budget.”

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