NSW Labor vows to meet ‘100 per cent of Gonski standard’ with $2.7bn education promise

NSW Labor leader Michael Daley speaks during the NSW Labor Party election campaign launch in Revesby on Sunday.NSW Labor leader Michael Daley speaks during the NSW Labor Party election campaign launch in Revesby on Sunday

A Labor government would make NSW the first state to fund public education to “100 per cent of the Gonski standard” with $2.7 billion extra spending if the party wins this month’s state election, NSW Opposition leader Michael Daley pledged today.

Speaking at NSW Labor’s election campaign launch in Sydney’s west just 13 days before voters go to the polls, Mr Daley said the additional spending over eight years was equivalent to $1500 for each student in the state at public schools.

“This is good old-fashioned Labor,” Mr Daley said, committing Labor to more funding of schools and hospitals with a campaign pitch claiming the Berejiklian Coalition government was “arrogant” and “not listening” to voters.

The NSW Labor leader also promised to “rebuild” the TAFE vocational education system in the state, ending what he said was a privatisation of services and cutting teaching and support staff jobs.

Mr Daley said that TAFE courses in “life skills” education would be free under Labor. Free TAFE courses would apply for trade skills training for building construction and plumbing, but also extend to aged care and child care courses.

Pledging 70 per cent of the NSW vocational training budget would be spent on TAFE funding, he said: “Apart from education standards, it means the privatisation of TAFE is over.”

The NSW Labor leader received a rousing welcome from party supporters at a packed auditorium at Revesby Workers Club in the heart of the NSW electorate of East Hills, where Cameron Murphy is running a second time as the party’s candidate after losing to a Liberal candidate following a vicious smear campaign in 2015.

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@michaeldaleyMP: I announce $1 billion to improve water supply and security in regional communities to protect our waterways.

We’ll partner with regional councils to upgrade water infrastructure and to fund innovative water management practices.
MORE https://bit.ly/2BuFqi1

We’ll partner with regional councils to upgrade water infrastructure and to fund innovative water management practices.

Mr Murphy is a Sydney barrister, former head of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties and also son of the late Whitlam Labor government attorney general and High Court judge Lionel Murphy.

Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten, introduced to the crowd as “Australia’s next prime minister”, gave a warm-up speech for Mr Daley in which he praised the state Labor leader’s commitment to education, infrastructure and “a better deal for the people of NSW”.

Also attending the launch were former NSW Labor premiers Barrie Unsworth, Bob Carr, and Kristina Keneally. Ms Keneally is now a NSW Labor senator and part of Mr Shorten’s team. Members of Mr Shorten’s frontbench from NSW attending included treasury spokesman Chris Bowen and Matt Thistlethwaite.

A Reachtel poll released overnight, published in Nine’s The Sun Herald, indicates the NSW election on March 23 could be a close contest with Labor now leading the Coalition 51-49 per cent. But the poll also found that 48 per cent of those surveyed did not think Labor was ready to govern again, after losing office at the 2011 election.

Mr Daley today reiterated he would devote budget spending for schools and hospitals, and not back away from NSW Labor’s opposition to redevelopment of Sydney stadiums. He said $500 million of the funding for stadiums would be redirected to replace 1000 demountables at schools with air conditioned classrooms.

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@billshortenmp at the NSW Labor election campaign launch:
‘We know that the best thing that we can do for our society, our community, and our economy is to invest in education. This is at the heart of @michaeldaleyMP‘s vision.’
MORE: https://bit.ly/2BuFqi1 

Describing today’s campaign launch as a “family gathering on a grand scale”, the NSW Labor leader, who took over from Luke Foley as party leader only late last year, claimed the Liberals were “afraid” of Labor in NSW.

“In 13 days we will show that fear is justified when we win the election,” he told the campaign crowd.

Mr Daley said he had never seen a government as “arrogant” as the NSW Coalition under Premier Gladys Berejiklian, singling out the light rail project in Sydney with delays and cost blowouts, restrictions on the live music industry and what he called inaction on water conservation for the Darling river that had led to the deaths of 1 million fish.

“There is something very wrong at the cabinet table,” Mr Daley said.

Brad Norington is an Associate Editor at The Australian, writing about national affairs and NSW politics. Brad was previously The Australian’s Washington Correspondent during the Obama presidency and has been w… 




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