Media Release

Australia could never be considered the smart country under Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s Gonski reforms, United Australia Party leader Mr Clive Palmer said today.

Mr Palmer said elements of the Gonski review of funding for Australian schools were a poor indictment of Ms Gillard’s time as Education Minister.

“The plans to strip approximately $2.8 billion from universities in order to free up funds for the federal government’s Gonski school reforms are not the actions of a clever country,’’ Prof Palmer said.

“The cuts would create severe strain on a sector which has developed the great minds which take our country forward.

“Creating a substandard university experience in order to fund better education makes no sense at all.

“The idea gets a fail on the economic front as well, jeopardising education as one of Australia’s major exports and threatening many services linked to the tertiary sector.

“It is because of the government’s rampant overspending and inefficient use of money that these drastic and short-sighted measures are being considered,’’ Prof Palmer said.