Queensland Greens Senator Larissa Waters with the Greens candidate for Dawson Imogen Lindenberg at Mackay State High School
Queensland Greens Senator Larissa Waters with the Greens candidate for Dawson Imogen Lindenberg at Mackay State High School Zizi Averill

Tax cuts to fund public schooling

AS PARENTS prepare for the start of the school year, politicians are putting together their own back to school packages.

While visiting Mackay State High School on Wednesday, Greens Queensland senator Larissa Waters pledged $34million to the region's schools as part of the party's four-year education package.

Ms Waters said Mackay's 15,000 public school students were being left behind because of the current education funding models.

"Mackay deserves a top quality education, (and) teachers deserve that support,” she said.

The Greens' multimillion-dollar promise attempts to meet the funding recommendations of the 2013 Gonski plan. Ms Waters said the additional funding would bridge the gap between the current State and Commonwealth contributions and the 2013 recommendations.

The Greens' national education proposal is estimated to cost $20 billion in the next 10 years.

Ms Waters said all Greens policies were fully costed. She believes the school spending would be covered by removing the Coalition's high income tax cuts.

"We don't think people that already have enough money need a little bit of extra help. We think our school kids need a bit of extra help.”

This comes alongside the Greens' $18billion higher education policy that would make TAFE and undergraduate university courses completely free.

Ms Walter said free tertiary education would immensely benefit the region's 6000 CQUni students.

"We're saddling students with massive debts for tertiary education. It shouldn't be that way. We are a wealthy nation.”

She said the higher education policy could be paid for by removing "tax perks to the big fossil fuel companies.”