Please explain missing millions

Teachers from Hawkesbury TA want Louise Markus to face the music on the Coalition's schools funding policy.

Michael de Wall
City Organiser

When will Macquarie MP Louise Markus explain the millions of dollars schools in the Macquarie electorate will miss out on due to the Coalition's schools funding policy?

On August 29 Hawkesbury Teachers Association President Ros Hughes led a delegation to the local MP's office seeking an explanation for her comments in the Blue Mountains Gazette (August 28) that the any claims made by the union with regards to funding beyond four years "cannot be believed, as they relate to money that does not exist. Any such funding is not in the budget as it is beyond the forward estimates".

Ms Hughes asked staff at the front desk if it was possible for Ms Markus to address the delegation. For the second time in the campaign, Ms Markus was too busy to meet with constituents from public school communities.

In lieu of Ms Markus making herself available, a staffer attempted to answer the questions of the delegation.

The staffer began by claiming that the Coalition had matched Labor's Gonski deal. The delegation quickly pointed out the $7 billion deficit in the Coalition's four year education plan.

The staffer claimed that no commitment could be made beyond four years of the Budget. The delegation reminded her that Abbott had a road plan worth more than $16 billion extending to 10 years and made a commitment to the multi-billion dollar, inter-generational National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The staffer retreated to the position that the money issue would obviously be revisited given that Mr O'Farrell had signed-up to a six year deal. She took the name and number of the Hawkesbury Teachers Association President to see if a meeting could be arranged for next week. At the time of publication, the President was still waiting for a call.