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Greens and One Nation lock in Labor’s education cuts

The rank hypocrisy of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and the Greens has been laid bare on the floor of State Parliament after MPs for both parties voted with the State Government to retain almost $40 million of education cuts.

The Nationals WA moved an amendment in the Legislative Council earlier this week which would have blocked legislation for a new tax on foreign buyers of residential property unless part proceeds of Labor’s new tax be used to reverse the education cuts.

The amendment, moved by The Nationals Member for the Agricultural Region Martin Aldridge, was defeated by a vote of 11-17 on Thursday (20 September) after all MPs for the Greens and One Nation sided with Labor.

“For months I have sat and listened to Greens and One Nation MPs grandstand about how devastating these education cuts are for their communities,” Mr Aldridge said.

“Yet when they finally had the chance to do something about it each one of those MPs lacked the courage to make a stand.” 

The outstanding cuts The Nationals want reversed include Labor’s raid on the Agricultural Farm Provisions Trust, the decision to outsource management of six camp schools and Landsdale Farm School to a private operator and the closure of the Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre.

“Labor’s new tax over the next 4 years will raise $123 million, significantly more than is needed to restore the education funding they gutted just days before Christmas last year,” Nationals Leader Mia Davies said.

“The vote on Thursday shows that One Nation and Greens MPs do not actually care about fixing the mess Labor has made in the education sector.

“They’re not interested in solutions, just political point-scoring.”

The Nationals were also seeking to have Labor’s cuts to the Boarding Away from Home Allowance reversed and the future of community kindergartens confirmed.  

Education spokesperson Peter Rundle said Labor’s cuts had left a sour taste in the mouths of regional families.

“Parents are still struggling to come to terms with Labor’s ‘cut first, consult second’ mentality,” Mr Rundle said.

“The education of our kids is too important for Labor to continue playing these games.”