LABOR candidate for Bendigo Lisa Chesters has slammed the federal Liberal Party’s education policy, saying it is “short-changing Bendigo and central Victorian schools”.
But Liberal candidate Greg Bickley hit back, saying the Liberal plan was based on “funding certainty”.
The Liberal Party has committed $2.8 billion in funding over the next four years, honouring the deal made with the state government under Labor’s Better Schools Plan.
This is significantly less than the $10 billion over six years promised by the Labor government.
Ms Chesters said the bulk of the funding promised by Labor was due beyond the budget forward estimates, in the final two years of a six-year plan.
She said schools would be significantly worse off under Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s plan.
“There is no way Mr Bickley and the Liberals can spin their way out of this one,” Ms Chesters said.
“Only providing a third of the funding for the Better Schools agreement means exactly that – you are only providing a third of the funding.
“My message on behalf of students, their families and our local public schools is simple: Tony Abbott, don’t short change Bendigo and central Victorian schools.”
Mr Bickley said the Labor government’s plan was unsustainable.
“Labor can make promises beyond four years but they can’t manage the budget over four months, so we can’t believe they’ll deliver that,” he said.
He said the Liberal party was also against a national takeover of schools.
“We don’t want to see more power concentrated in Canberra.
“We believe in greater school autonomy so that the local community and school boards can get on with the job.”