Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
NATIONAL: Federal Labor MPs have defended how long it is taking the government to respond to the Gonski schools funding review.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard will deliver a speech on school funding in Canberra on Monday but says the government’s response to the report it has had since last November is still some weeks away.
Government parliamentary secretary Mark Dreyfus has defended the delay.
“We’ve taken the time that needs to be taken to get to an appropriate government response,” he told reporters in Canberra.
“Of course it’s a priority for the government to deal with the problems in the education system.”
The government’s response is close, he said.
“But no one should be in any doubt that we are a Labor government that is concerned to improve resources in all Australian schools,” he said.
Government backbencher Andrew Leigh said education was one of the best ways to improve economic growth.
“We think it’s important to get this right. We think it’s important to work through a lot of the implications of the Gonski review,” he said.
Dr Leigh dismissed opposition rhetoric about government school “hit lists”.
Greens MP Adam Bandt accused the government of “dragging its feet” on the review.
“The government needs to take the lead, the government needs to get on with Gonski,” he said.
“The Greens will back an injection into our public school system.”
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