SUBJECTS: BER Recognition ceremonies
Christopher Pyne MP: Well it’s the usual cynicism that we get from the Federal Labor Government. We know that there’s been $16.5 billion spent on the so called building the education revolution school halls. But the first thing they did, if you cast your mind back four years was spend $1.5 million on putting up the signs to announce they were building a school hall at every particular school around the country. The overwhelming imperative was to promote the Labor Government and the then Education Minister Julia Gillard, not of course to build the school hall. And those guidelines were written so that no Coalition Member could take part in any of these ceremonies and that Julia Gillard insisted on being invited to every single school opening which of course was physically impossible; and every plaque, if she had attended, would have had to mention her name. So unfortunately it’s all about self promotion and as you say in an election year they are trying to milk it for all its worth.
Jason Morrison: I’m looking at the revolution recognition ceremony elements that should be mentioned, this is so that schools can make sure that everyone there hears this – Primary schools for the 21st century, $14.1 billion for all Australian primary schools, on it all goes. Science and Language… these are dot points that educators are required to stand up before the kids and their parents and the Minister, to kiss the ministers behind and rejoice in all of this stuff.
Pyne: Well it’s the kind of thing you would expect from the bureaucracy in East Germany in the 1950s Jason. Where of course principals are not smart enough, according to this Government, to be able to run an opening ceremony for a school hall, they need to be told down to every single detail about what they need to say and probably what they need to wear. The school hall debacle disappeared from Labor’s election campaign in 2010 because estimates, not Coalition estimates, but estimates from teachers institutions and so on suggested that up to 50% of $16.5 billion had been wasted in overvalued school halls. The Coalition was never against building school halls or libraries in schools, but we wanted them to be built with value for money and that was never obtained by this Government. Especially, unfortunately, in your state of New South Wales.
Morrison: Yeah. We made a few phone calls, it’s obviously hard because the school year isn’t back yet, so schools many of them are not open. I’ve spoken with a couple of private schools who have had this, and contacts I’ve had have confirmed that they have had this sent out to them. Just as the school year was coming to a close, the general inference was get in early and book yours now so they can start putting together the election year schedule for Ministers to travel around the country to unveil plaques.
Pyne: The cynicism is so shocking that in fact Julia Gillard had a media event last week in a school, where of course as you say the school year isn’t open; and yet they bussed in school children, teachers, the principal and parents in order for Julia Gillard to have a media opportunity in a school regardless of the fact that she could have gone to a local shopping mall and talked to people there and done a press conference at the shopping mall. But you must remember that if she does that members of the public come up and ask her why she broke her promise never to introduce a Carbon Tax.
Morrison: Yeah you don’t want to go near the real world.
Pyne: No she never does that anymore.
Morrison: Alright, thank you for talking to me this afternoon. People might get a little cynical about politicians generally but when you see something like this as blatant as this with the guidelines to do it, that’s a whole new level. Thanks for your time.