Labor and the AEU’s shameful scare campaign

24 Mar 2015 Media release

The Australian Education Union and Labor have sunk to a new low today shamelessly creating fear over the funding for disabled children.

They must stop peddling entirely baseless lies and all journalists must start asking them to back up their claims.

Today the AEU claimed there is no disability loading and that thousands of students are missing out on funding.

There is a disability loading, it was introduced by this Government in 2014.

This loading is based on the current state and territory definitions for disabled students and so every student who meets this definition attracts the loading.

There has been no cut to Australian Government support for students with disability at all. There is more funding for students with disability than ever before.

The Government is providing $5.2 billion for students with disability over the period 2014 – 2017, including over $1.2 billion for students with disability in 2015 alone.

If the AEU and Federal Labor were correct and there had been cuts to disability loadings, why would the state and territory governments remain silent?

The AEU has also produced no evidence that 100,000 students are missing out on funding. The Commonwealth is entirely fulfilling our obligations as funding flows based on eligibility advised by the states and territories.

At the same time the Australian Government, along with the state and territories

have been working towards gathering nationally consistent data for students with disability.

In what is a significant achievement, this year is the first year in which all Australian schools will complete the data collection. The Australian Government does not do this in isolation.

The Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on Students with Disability (NCCD) is on track to be introduced in 2016, as planned, allowing the Government and the States and Territories to further refine the existing loadings to better support students.

This delivers on the promise to have for the first time nationally consistent data and a better understanding of the level of adjustment required for a student.

We are delivering the exact same funding commitment that was promised by the previous Government over four years, including reinstating funding to three states.

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