Local, Independant and Effective
June 06, 2018

Strategy and taskforce imperative to improving outcomes for rural and regional students

Federal Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan says the Government must take immediate action to establish a taskforce to develop a national regional education strategy to improve the education outcomes of regional Australians.

Ms McGowan today asked Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Question Time if he would commit to the establishment of the taskforce and strategy.

She said in Indi, 6.2 per cent of residents have tertiary qualifications, compared with a state average of 17.8 per cent.

The Government this week announced it would accept all 11 recommendations of the Independent Review into Regional, Rural and Remote Education, led by Emeritus Professor John Halsey.

“In its response to the report, the Government says Prof. Halsey has included 53 suggested actions that would assist implementation of these recommendations,” Ms McGowan said.

“These actions must be progressed, starting with Prof. Halsey’s proposal to ‘establish a national regional, rural and remote education strategy and associated taskforce to drive greater coherence, coordination and access to high quality education and training in regional, rural and remote Australia’.

“The Government has acknowledged the importance of the Halsey review in driving change that will close the gap between the city and regional Australia in the level of study or qualifications achieved by students.

“The strategy and taskforce are imperative to improving outcomes for regional, rural and remote students. An annual statement as part of the Budget addressing progress in educational outcomes in regional Australia is insufficient.

“I look forward to continuing my discussions with the Government as it implements the recommendations of the Halsey report, and confirming the importance of Prof. Halsey’s findings.”

Ms McGowan’s question and the response from the Prime Minister can be viewed at http://www.cathymcgowan.com.au/taskforce_and_strategy_imperative_to_improve_regional_education_outcomes

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