Media Releases

The Editor Armidale Express

Contrary to claims published on Wednesday the 26th of October (Plibersek visits Minimbah School, Indigenous education believed to be at risk) the Coalition Government cares more about needs-based funding to our students than Labor. We’ve made it clear that we want needs-based, sector blind funding that focuses on quality school initiatives and outcomes.

Some people may think that what we have now (as implemented by Labor) is needs-based funding as David Gonski recommended. It is not. Gonski review author Ken Boston said it is a ‘corruption’ of Gonski and what those experts tried to achieve.

Students in one State are getting different amounts to students in another State, despite their funding characteristics being the same.

Indigenous education policy has a better probability of success if ownership resides in the community. Indigenous students need to be able to see themselves, their identities and their cultures reflected in the curriculum. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures cross-curriculum priority enables all students to engage in reconciliation, respect and recognition of the world’s oldest continuous living cultures.

Read more: The Editor Armidale Express

YAMBA TO MOREE RAIL LINK UNLIKELY

Yamba Bar Yacht o

A much-publicised plan to establish a shipping port at Yamba on the north coast and link it by rail to the north-western town of Moree is highly unlikely to ever occur.

The Nationals Senator for New South Wales John Williams today labelled it a “pipe dream” based on the extreme hurdles it would have to overcome to gain approval.

In Senate estimates, Senator Williams asked the Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development Mike Mrdak if he had any further details on the project.

Read more: YAMBA TO MOREE RAIL LINK UNLIKELY

CITIZENSHIP TESTS NOW AVAILABLE IN TWEED HEADS

Migrants living in regional communities will now be able to take their citizenship test in their local area rather than having to travel to the city.

The Nationals Duty Senator for Richmond John Williams says the Department of Human Services and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection have combined to help people living in the Tweed Heads area to take a citizenship test locally.

The centre will be at 100 Blundell Boulevard, Tweed Heads South.

Senator Williams said staff will be able to guide prospective citizens through the citizenship process, including verifying documents,

Read more: CITIZENSHIP TESTS NOW AVAILABLE IN TWEED HEADS

REVISED BACKPACKER TAX A WIN FOR COMMON SENSE

The proposed 32.5 per cent tax rate that was to apply to working holiday visa holders from July 1 will be slashed to 19 per cent following strong representations by The Nationals in Government.

The Nationals Duty Senator for Richmond John Williams said the change had to occur to ensure farmers could get their fruit picked at the right time which in turn means local towns prosper.

Senator Williams said led by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce, the Nationals had lobbied for a review of the Budget announcement as they live in the regions where the tax would have the greatest effect.

Read more: REVISED BACKPACKER TAX A WIN FOR COMMON SENSE

LIFE INSURANCE INDUSTRY TO BE EXAMINED BY PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE

The Senate today passed a motion lodged by the Nationals Senator for NSW John Williams which will put the spotlight on the life insurance industry.

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services will be asked to consider whether the industry needs further reform and better oversight by regulatory bodies like the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

Senator Williams said following the joint Fairfax-Four Corners expose on cases where people have been refused payouts for what seemed legitimate claims, he was made aware the practice may be more widespread.

Read more: LIFE INSURANCE INDUSTRY TO BE EXAMINED BY PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE

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