Three in four Braddon residents support fair funding of public schools

13 June 2018

NEW polling has shown that public school funding will be a crucial issue deciding the by-election in Braddon, with more than three in four residents in the electorate saying public school funding levels will be a key consideration in determining their vote.

Earlier this year the Turnbull government slashed $1.9 billion from public education funding over the next two years, while pushing for billions of dollars in tax cuts for big business.

However according to a new ReachTEL poll[1], 78.2 per cent of respondents in Braddon said public school funding is personally important to them as an electoral issue.

In addition, almost 70% of poll respondents in Braddon consider increased funding for local public schools as better for Australia’s future than cutting taxes for the nation’s big banks.

Australian Education Union (AEU) Tasmania Branch President Helen Richardson said that the poll results clearly show that voters consider properly-funded public schools as a priority over tax cuts for big business.

“Voters and residents in Braddon and across Tasmania are very happy with their local schools, teachers, principals and support staff, and do not want them to be savaged by Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts to school funding,” Ms Richardson said.

“These poll results show that more than three quarters of residents in Braddon clearly want public money spent on properly funding public schools, rather than tax cuts for big business.”

“People in our communities understand real investment in education, as that results in additional teachers, smaller class sizes and better opportunities for all schoolchildren,” Ms Richardson said.

“However we are now seeing these fabulous student outcomes put at risk by the $1.9 billion funding cuts mandated by the Turnbull government.”

Ms Richardson said the AEU (Tas) branch was calling for “Fairer Funding Now” for public schools in Braddon.

“Public schools in Braddon and across Tasmania are facing a crisis unless the Turnbull government immediately reverses its decision to cut $1.9 billion from the public system for 2018 and 2019,” Ms Richardson said.

“The Commonwealth should also work with the state government to ensure that public schools in Braddon receive 100% of their School Resource Standard by 2023. Right now the Commonwealth’s share is capped at 20 per cent.”

Ms Richardson called for additional funding for school capital works and for supporting students with disability in Braddon public schools.

“Under Turnbull’s school funding plan, public schools in Braddon will receive zero capital funds for much-needed new and upgraded classrooms and facilities, while private schools will reap the benefits of Malcolm Turnbull’s $1.9 billion in capital works special deal,” Ms Richardson said.

“In addition, funding for public school students with disability in Braddon has been cut under the Turnbull plan, with Tasmania losing 46% of its funding allocation for these students.”

“These cuts will hurt the most vulnerable students in Braddon,” Ms Richardson said.


[1] ReachTEL poll surveyed 823 residents in the federal electorate of Braddon on the evening of 5 June 2018