A petition was presented to parliament today containing 3515 names of Victorians calling on the Baillieu Government to stop the savage budget cuts to education, Member for Western Victoria  Ms Jaala Pulford said.

The petition draws the Premier attention to his decision to cut $555 million from the Victorian education system, particularly to:

  • The slashing of the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA), the School Start
         Bonus and the conveyance allowance;
  • Funding for the VET and VCAL programs has been cut, meaning thousands of students are now missing out on opportunities; and
  • The Premier’s broken promise to teachers which is now having an impact on

Ms Pulford said the petition was part of Labor’s campaign against the Baillieu Government’s failures in education.

“It has become clear that education simply isn’t a priority for the Baillieu Government,” Ms Pulford said. 

“Whether it’s the $555 million worth of cuts to education, the government’s two year stoush with teachers over basic pay and conditions, the $420 million school maintenance backlog, scrapping of the Victorian Schools Plan or the $300 million cuts to TAFE – Mr Baillieu simply isn’t working on education.”

“Labor has been meeting with students, their families and teachers to discuss the impact these cuts are having. It is clear that the overwhelming majority of teachers do not want performance bonuses; they want the Baillieu Government to deliver on its election promise of making all Victorian teachers best paid in the country. Parents and students want to have access to the best education in the country.

“And we have 3515 people who have signed up to the campaign to get Mr Baillieu to start taking our children’s future seriously.

“On top of the 3515 signatures on today’s petition, there have also been over 1000 more responses to our campaign online and there are more to come.

Ms Pulford said the Baillieu Government cuts were particularly harsh as they overwhelmingly affected students and families from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“The Baillieu Government’s cuts include axing Free Fruit Friday, the EMA and the School Start Bonus, as well as cuts to VET and VCAL,” she said.

“All these programs were designed to give every student the best chance to get the most out of their education and win the job they want, but they have all been hacked into by Mr Baillieu.

“This campaign is making it clear to the Baillieu Government: our children shouldn’t be victims of Ted Baillieu’s attacks on education.” 

For more information on the campaign, please visit www.baillieusnotworking.com.au.

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