FEDERAL Education Minister Dr Brendan Nelson and his Labor counterpart Jenny Macklin have agreed to an election debate on issues affecting Catholic schools.
The debate, to be held in Brisbane on September 16, is being organised by the Brisbane Catholic Parents’ and Friends’ Association.
Senator John Cherry, representing the Australian Democrats, and Greens candidate Drew Hutton will also participate.
Association chair, Russ Nelson, in rallying support for the event, said that as the federal election loomed ‘it is time for parents with children in Catholic schools to assert their rightful place in the political debate about the funding of our Catholic schools by government’.
Queensland Catholic Education Commission (QCEC) executive director Joe McCorley said he hoped the major parties would respond to the issues Catholic school authorities had been raising with them in the lead-up to election.
Mr McCorley said the two main issues were funding for students with disabilities and capital funding to deal with population growth.
Executive officer of the Federation of Parents’ and Friends’ Associations of Queensland, Paul Dickie, agreed that funding and catering for students with disabilities were key issues.
He said other issues the federation would want debated included indigenous education and the integration of technology into education.
Mr Dickie said the federation would also hope to see discussion on parent issues – ‘parents being major stakeholders in education, therefore they should be on (decision-making) committees’.
The debate is scheduled for September 16, 7pm, at Marymac Hall, 616 Ipswich Road, Annerley, in Brisbane.
The Catholic Leader is an Australian award-winning Catholic newspaper that has been published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 1929. Our journalism seeks to provide a full, accurate and balanced Catholic perspective of local, national and international news while upholding the dignity of the human person.
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