Cuts to Education Funding

If Australia is to have a strong, high productivity economy, we should be investing in education, not cutting it like the Liberals are doing.

The recent Budget announced by this Government takes $22 billion over the next decade away from our schools. It cuts university funding by over $3 billion, meaning that students will pay more in fees, and cuts $637 million from TAFE, including over $165 million from NSW over the next four years. All to pay for a $65 billion big business tax cut.

Labor has committed to fighting against these cuts to our kids’ education. We will restore every dollar of the $22 billion this Government has cut from schools funding in this budget. Labor opposes the government’s plan for higher student fees and the debt that comes with it, and we oppose their plan to lower the repayment thresholds. We have also committed to reversing Malcolm Turnbull’s $600 million cuts to skills and training and invest in TAFE and apprenticeships and invest in local jobs and skills.

Schools in the Illawarra will lose a total of $54.3 million as a result of this latest cut, with some local schools losing over a $1 million. The worst hit local public schools are also in areas of greatest need, which the original Gonski funding agreement was meant to fix.

Under the Liberals’ policy there is NO guarantee that any school, public, independent, or Catholic school will ever get up to its fair level of funding.

Labor’s needs-based Gonski reforms would have seen the biggest increases in funding go to the schools that taught the children with the greatest educational needs. Over the next two years alone, Labor would have invested about $3 billion more than the Liberals in schools.

That school reform agenda included things like more autonomy for principals, more decisions at a school level about how to best spend the extra funding that came with needs-based funding. It included improvements to initial teacher education, improvements to teachers’ career-long professional development to ensure they were always able to continually upgrade their professional skills. All the things we know make a difference in classrooms and give more individual attention for kids.

We continue to believe in a needs-based funding model. We continue to believe every child, in every classroom, deserves every opportunity.

A $3 billion cut to University funding will see soaring fees and debt for university students. Labor doesn't want young Australians saddled with a big uni debt at the same time as they are trying to buy a house, or start a family. In Government, Labor lifted investment in unis from $8 billion a year in 2007, to $14 billion a year in 2013. We will continue to stand with students to fight these cuts.

Australia now has 130,000 fewer apprentices and trainees than when the Liberals were elected. Malcolm Turnbull has no plan for education and no plan for Australia’s future. Australia’s economy is changing fast and the skills Australians need to get well-paid and secure jobs are changing too.

This is why, in addition to reversing Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts, Labor will:

  1. Establish in a new $100 million Building TAFE for the Future Fund – to re-establish TAFE facilities in regional communities, meet local industry needs and support teaching for the digital economy.
  2. Restore TAFE as the backbone of our vocational education system by guaranteeing at least two thirds of public funding goes to TAFE.
  3. Set a target of one in ten apprentices on all Commonwealth priority projects, because we know local jobs need to be put first.
  4. Invest in pre-apprentice programs to help up to 10,000 young jobseekers start their apprenticeships.
  5. Establish an Advanced Entry Adult Apprenticeships program to fast-track apprenticeships for up to 20,000 people who are facing redundancy or whose jobs have been lost.

Only Labor will provide more opportunity for Australians of all ages to gain the skills they need to get good quality jobs.

Labor invests in education because we believe there's nothing better for our society, or our economy, than well educated, well trained Australians in good, well paid jobs.

Only a Prime Minister that’s completely lost it would have the hide to describe $22 billion of cuts to schools as ‘fair’. But that’s what Malcolm Turnbull did.

Great schools are not just good for individual schoolkids, they are vital for our economy too. Malcolm Turnbull is robbing Australian schoolkids of the opportunity to reach their full potential.

The best thing any generation can do is to make sure that our kids get the best quality education in the future and that's what Labor stands for.

See the table below to see how Malcolm Turnbull’s funding cuts will effect your school.

School name

2018 & 2019 total increase - Commonwealth share of the Gonski agreement (NERA)

Turnbull's cuts 2018 & 2019

Austinmer Public School



Balgownie Public School



Bellambi Public School



Bulli High School



Bulli Public School



Coledale Public School



Coniston Public School



Corrimal East Public School



Corrimal High School



Corrimal Public School



Fairy Meadow Public School



Farmborough Road Public School



Figtree Heights Public School



Figtree High School



Figtree Public School



Five Islands Secondary College



Gwynneville Public School



Helensburgh Public School



Keira High School



Keiraville Public School



Kemblawarra Public School



Lake Heights Public School



Lindsay Park Public School



Mount Keira Demonstration School



Mount Kembla Public School



Mount Ousley Public School



Mount St Thomas Public School



Nareena Hills Public School



Otford Public School



Para Meadows School



Pleasant Heights Public School



Port Kembla Public School



Russell Vale Public School



Scarborough Public School



Smiths Hill High School



Stanwell Park Public School



Tarrawanna Public School



Thirroul Public School



Towradgi Public School



Unanderra Public School



Waniora Public School



Warrawong High School



Warrawong Public School



Wollongong High School Of The
Performing Arts



Wollongong Public School



Wollongong West Public School



Woonona East Public School



Woonona High School



Woonona Public School