The demands for a Federal ICAC to oversee the conduct and integrity of our Federal Parliament have been getting louder and louder over the years as the political scandals roll out of Parliament on a regular basis.
These demands resulted in the Morrison Government begrudgingly promising an ICAC in 2018. This ICAC was overwhelmingly described by experts and political observers as weak, ineffective and somewhat of a protection system for dishonest Parliamentarians.
Meanwhile the scandals have become daily events at times. Whether the issue is large scale pork barrelling such as sports rorts, purchasing $3 million worth of land for $30 million from a Political donor, the covering up of a sexual assault inside Parliament House or the announcement of the construction of a gas power plant on land owned by a property developer and a Liberal Party Political Donor, each and every one of these scandals has a direct or indirect impact on the Hughes Electorate.
Three years after PM Morrison first announced plans for a Federal ICAC and there are no signs of this issue progressing and zero dollars in the recent budget allocated to funding an ICAC.
Given the fact public money is being spent at record levels since the onset of the COVID crisis and $1 trillion of public debt has been accumulated in the process, now is the exact time Australia needs an ICAC to oversee the conduct and spending of Federal Parliament.
It's time for Hughes to be represented by somebody willing to restore integrity to our Federal Parliament.
I am writing to you to express my concerns over education funding allocations by the Federal government.
As you are probably aware the Gonski report in 2012 made recommendations regarding an additional $5 billion in funding per year directed largely toward government schools as they cater for the lion's share of disadvantaged students in Australia. At least one third of this funding was to come from the federal government.
The Gonski recommendations were not implemented by the incoming federal government and abandoned in 2016. Australian students have significantly declined amongst OECD rankings since 2000. The most recent PISA rankings (2018) saw Australian students fail to exceed the OECD average in Maths, whilst also falling in reading and science. Australian students placed 16th in the world in reading, 29th in maths and 17th in science.
In Australia, we have a two-tiered education funding model, whereby government schools are largely left with less funding per student when compared to similar independent and catholic schools.
In the Hughes electorate, there are more than twice as many government as non-government students at primary level, and around 50% more secondary government students, so the inequity in funding has an even greater impact locally. The budget recently handed down increased funding to non-government schools by $1.7 billion, compared to $0.7 billion for government schools. And government schools cater for over 65% of Australia's 4 million-plus students. In addition, TAFE and University funding increases were non-existent.
As a constituent, I cannot begin to accept the government's continued rhetoric about jobs and a growing economy, when the foundation of that growth i.e. educating our young people, is being neglected in certain sectors.
I am hoping that an Independent candidate such as the one We Are Hughes is seeking will take up the issue of equitable education funding and rid Australia of the growing inequity in schooling, something more successful OECD countries have done.
Linda Ryan, Hughes Constituent
I have worked as a professional in the energy sector for over a decade.
Australia is going through a huge change in how it generates and uses energy. Like all changes, it is going through some challenges along the way. The budget was an opportunity to smooth out this ride, ensure reliability is maintained and supporting emerging technologies to build Aussie know how which we can export to the world. This would create jobs in world leading innovation and hold back opportunities on the horizon where Australia has a competitive advantage.
Instead of battery storage, electric vehicles and hydrogen, the budget is supporting more gas exploration, gas pipelines and oil refineries. It is disappointing to see government money being used to support commercially mature and well financed industries like gas and oil who really can stand on their own two feet, and suffer the risk of being stranded assets within the next decade. Jonathan Prendergast, Como
I agree with G Lewis from Jannali. The Morrison government has made announcements and promises and not kept them. Rorted funding and used it as Liberal Party money, paid $30 million more for land than it was worth and now tried to hoodwink us all with this latest budget. The refrain from Shire and Australian voters, "Oh he is doing a good job, we don't have COVID here, he'll get my vote." Those voters are truly mugs. Floyd Davis, Como
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