528. Hon ALISON XAMON to the Minister for Education and Training:
I refer to the estimates hearing on 21 June 2018 when the minister indicated that she was travelling to Adelaide that afternoon to discuss education funding.
Several members interjected.
The PRESIDENT: Order! Sometimes it is difficult to hear Hon Alison Xamon because she has a beautiful, gentle voice. Sometimes when other people are speaking loudly, it is difficult for Hansard to hear her, so please pay her due respect while she is on her feet and listen in silence so she can put her question.
Hon ALISON XAMON: Thank you, Madam President.
The minister indicated that she was travelling to Adelaide that afternoon to discuss federal funding, including federal funding for students with disability.
(1) Has a funding agreement now been reached with the federal government?
(2) If yes, could the minister please advise what that agreement is; and, if it has not been agreed, why not, and is it envisaged that the department will have to make up the shortfall from the existing education budget or are extra funds going to be made available from other sources within the existing state budget?
Hon SUE ELLERY replied:
I thank the honourable member for the question, which she did give me a copy of.
(1) No, a funding agreement has not been reached yet with the federal government. We are aiming to get something before the Council of Australian Governments meeting in October, but we are far apart at this point because of the onerous requirements that the federal government is proposing, which would have a particularly hard effect on Western Australia because of the way we have been funding education ahead of all the other jurisdictions. What the federal government is proposing for the other jurisdictions may work well for them, but it does not provide any advantage to Western Australia.
(2) The last bit of the member’s question was about whether it is envisaged that the department will have to make up any shortfall. Under the current proposals from the federal government, yes, that would be required, but those matters and the nature of the reform that is required coming out of Gonski 2.0 are still up for negotiation.