Question Time: Education

Mr LIM (Tangney) (15:00): My question is to the Minister for Education. What is the Albanese Labor government doing to support teachers and public education in Australia?

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: No! The member will resume his seat. Question time is not going to operate like that. Members are entitled to questions and should be shown respect when they’re asking a question. They’re to be heard in silence. It’s not the time for making jokes or smart-alec remarks. It’s not going to operate like that. It can’t operate like that.

Mr CLARE (Blaxland—Minister for Education) (15:01): I thank my great mate, the terrific member for Tangney, for his question. There is no more important job in this country than that of a schoolteacher. Everything they do helps our kids to aim higher, to work harder, to be braver and to believe in themselves. I’m sure all of us in this chamber and in the public gallery and press gallery can think of that one teacher who changed their life. We wouldn’t be here as politicians or journos—or ABC TV stars like the member for Canning—if it weren’t for our teachers. Who else would have taught him how to use that overhead projector?

We’re providing a tax cut to all Australian taxpayers, including 300,000 schoolteachers. A teacher fresh out of uni on 80 grand a year gets a tax cut of $1,679. A teacher a number of years into the job on $95,000 a year gets a tax cut of more than two grand. We need more teachers. That’s what the extra uni places are about. That’s what those $40,000 Commonwealth teaching scholarships are about. We need to improve teacher training. That’s what those reforms to the university courses are about. They’re to make sure that students at university come out with the skills they need to teach students how to read, write and do maths and to manage disruptive classrooms. We need to fix the funding of our public schools, and that’s what the agreement I signed with the Western Australian government last week was about—making sure that we fully fund every public school in Western Australia by the start of 2026. That’s just the start.

We’ve also got to make sure that we give a tax cut to every teacher in this country. And, for that new teacher on 80 grand a year who gets a tax cut of $1,679, that’s double what they would have gotten under the Liberal Party. It’s only happening because of this Labor government. While we are working on that, what were they working on? They were working on their cameos for that true crime series on the ABC! What was it called? Nemesis? It’s pretty wild! I thought David Attenborough should have been narrating it!

The SPEAKER: The minister will return to the question.

Mr CLARE: That’s the difference. They’re focused on themselves. They’re focused on the past. We’re focused on making sure that every Australian taxpayer gets a tax cut, including our 300,000 Australian school teachers.