Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s announcement on school funding reforms earlier this week has drawn praise from some and attracted attacks from others in the Fraser Coast.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s announcement on school funding reforms earlier this week has drawn praise from some and attracted attacks from others in the Fraser Coast. Ableimages

Truss blasts Gillard over Gonski

NATIONALS leader Warren Truss has accused Prime Minister Julia Gillard of "playing Australians for mugs" in the wake of her Gonski speech.

The Member for Wide Bay attacked the Gillard Government for lacking substance in its announcement and claimed Labor was trying to shift responsibility for improving education standards to the states.

"In recent weeks, Julia Gillard's spending spree has included promises of an $8 billion a year National Disability Insurance Scheme, a $4 billion dental health package, and now $6.5 billion to fund some of Gonski's education changes - all due to commence after 2014," Mr Truss said.

"With an election due in 2013, or sooner, Julia Gillard is playing Australians for mugs. And she was quick, in making (this week's) grand statement, to put the funding onus on the states."

He said regional and rural Australians, such as those in the Fraser Coast, had reason to be concerned their schools were being left behind.

Mr Truss also levelled a broadside at the Prime Minister for refusing to release any modelling on school funding reforms.

He claimed leaked data showing up to seven Fraser Coast schools could be worse off by a combined $1.9 million had forced the government to begin work on a new funding model.

However regional organiser for the Queensland Teachers Union Wide Bay Scott Welch disagreed with the MP and backed Labor for revolutionising the way the education sector is funded.

Mr Welch said the QTU would now encourage State and Federal governments to work together and figure out where the $6.5 billion in school funding reforms would come from.

Unsuccessful attempts were made to contact Hinkler MP Paul Neville and Education Minister Peter Garrett for comment.



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