Prime Minister Julia Gillard has seized on NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli's comments backing Labor's school reforms, saying they proved the federal Coalition was spreading ''disinformation'' about the Gonski education package.
''I wouldn't normally ask you to look at the words of a Liberal minister but I am asking you to do that today,'' she said in a speech at a candidate training day in western Sydney on Saturday.
On Saturday, Mr Piccoli publicly rejected the federal opposition's position on the multibillion-dollar reforms, telling Fairfax Media ''the status quo would see NSW worse off, and what essentially the federal Coalition is saying is the status quo''.
''[The federal Coalition] will do what they think they need to do, but what I need to do is have the facts out there as to why NSW signed up for it,'' Mr Piccoli said. ''I hope other states embrace it and I would hope the federal opposition embraces it too, because it's a good deal for schools.''
Ms Gillard said Mr Piccoli had ''taken apart piece by piece every false claim that has been made about our education reforms by [Coalition education spokesman] Christopher Pyne and the opposition''.
Ms Gillard said his comments proved the Coalition had been spreading ''disinformation'' about the Gonski reforms.
The states have until June 30 to sign up for the Gonski schools reform package.
So far NSW is the only state to do so.
In a short, off-the-cuff address Ms Gillard implored Labor MPs and candidates to stay positive in the lead-up to September, but stopped short of saying Labor could win the election.
The story Gillard gains an unlikely ally on school reforms in state minister first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.