Question Time: Taxation

Dr ANANDA-RAJAH (Higgins) (14:28): My question is to the Minister for Education. What is the Albanese Labor government doing to support workers in the education system and to tackle disruption in Australian schools, and what has been the response?

Mr CLARE (Blaxland—Minister for Education) (14:28): I thank the terrific member for Higgins for her question. Last week I told the House about what the tax cuts mean for teachers. For a teacher on, say, 95 grand a year, it’ll mean a tax cut of more than 2,000 bucks. But, of course, it’s not just teachers who work in our schools. A teachers aide on 65 grand a year will get a tax cut of more than 1,300 bucks, a school cleaner on 40 grand a year will get a tax cut of more than 600 bucks and a school bus driver on 70 grand a year will get a tax cut of more than 1,400 bucks.

Every taxpayer gets a tax cut; that’s the point. That’s why Australians support it, and that’s why, over the last few weeks, the opposition have been behaving like some kind of beginner’s Bikram yoga class—all hot and sweaty and desperately trying to contort themselves into a position that we know they really don’t want to be in. They hate it, but they’re voting for it. Why? Because they know that Australians want Albo’s tax cuts. Not only that—they know Australians deserve Albo’s tax cuts, and that’s what they’re going to get on 1 July.

The SPEAKER: I’ll just ask the minister to refer to all members by their correct titles.

Mr CLARE: Of course I will, Mr Speaker. They know that Australians want and deserve the Albanese government’s tax cuts.

I’m also asked about disruption in our schools. There are lots of reasons for that, but one of them is vaping. This is what a principal said in the Australian on the weekend:


that is, students are—

fixated on getting their next hit, are very disruptive and distracted from learning. We see the behavioural effects of withdrawal, as kids disappear from the classroom so they can get nicotine hits.

One in six kids in high school are vaping at the moment—one in six! This is a menace in our schools. No wonder parents are worried about it. Think about this: nine out of 10 vape stores are within walking distance of our schools. That’s why the minister for health is about to bring legislation into this parliament to ban the sale of these vapes at these stores, and I want to thank the minister for health for his leadership in this area. Unbelievably, in that same article on the weekend, the opposition refused to back it. They refused to say that they would support this legislation.

Mr Conaghan interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Cowper will cease interjecting.

Mr CLARE: On something so important, so serious, that affects our schools, our kids, parents and teachers, I can’t believe that the opposition won’t support this. Just like they’ve had a change of heart on tax, they need to back this ban too. (Time expired)