Statement on Appointment

It is a great honour to have been appointed Shadow Assistant Minister for Schools, and in particular to have the opportunity to work with Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek in this critical policy area.

I thank Bill Shorten for giving me this chance to make a contribution to his team.

Ensuring that every Australian child has every chance to fulfill their potential is at the core of Labor's vision of a good society.

It's also of fundamental importance to enabling the inclusive economic growth which will secure our living standards into the future.

This has to be underpinned by a national government that will invest in our greatest renewable resource, our people, through needs-based funding of Australian schools.

I look forward to meeting with, and listening to, all those interested in schools policy in the coming months: students, teachers, parents, representative organisations and academic experts. I will do my best to give voice to their experiences, concerns and expertise in holding the Turnbull Government to account, and further strengthening Labor's policy together with Tanya and the rest of the education team.

I also take this opportunity to acknowledge and pay tribute to Kate Ellis and Amanda Rishworth for their work in this area in the last parliament.

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  • Recently I wrote a letter to council of whittlesea.

    The Honourable Mayor/CEO/Members of Whittlesea council
    25 Ferres Blvd, South Morang 3752 VIC

    Subject: Alsiraat College: Harvest home road east insane traffic l Parking issues l Cycling track l walking track and duplication of road issues.
    Our Children’s school Alsiraat College has been there for over 7 years and it’s been progressive by all means. Our School created many jobs in the area and has accommodated almost approximately 600+ students. Hundreds of families have moved from different parts of Melbourne and brought their values to the area and made it highly sought after.
    Previously we had the issue of traffic signals and it took bit longer to get it available to the community. During that period we witnessed number of accidents and incidents. It’s generally been the issue in the north where infrastructure is weak. Specially from Epping to South Morang road condition has always been poor and other provisions such as traffic management have never been satisfactory.
    For last seven years traffic has increased approximately 10 times than whatever it was back in 2009. Knowing the fact that this is among most important matters as kids should be given access to the facilities like Bike riding, home to and fro school walking track and a reasonably safe environment for traffic. Unfortunately nothing is available to the level it should have been. Working people around the area driving at the speed of 80-100 and its quite usual. Heavy trucks in the area, while they are on harvest home road east, sometime there is no space for the cars. It seems in future these activities will increase significantly due to ongoing development work in the area
    2 years ago school management contacted council and students also gave presentation to the council members. Subsequently council officers visited school and Michael lamer head of the engineering department was also there. We were told about the cycling track, duplication of the road and footpath on the northern side. However since then there is no firm action has been taken as yet?
    I have spoken to the management and parents and everyone has shown serious concerns about these issues. Majority of newly trained and young mums especially those, migrated from overseas are unable to coup up with the problems ie. insufficient parking space, illegal parking from the parents and even people working around the area and this has created chances of disasters. The black spot after approximately 300m from main road is also one of the big threats.
    I spoke to Miss MP Bronwyn halfpenny and CEO during annual general meeting of ACA. They gave assurance that they will look into the matter and help us to prioritise this job.
    I therefore request on behalf of the parents of Alsiraat College that please look into this matter and give it priority as this is matter of children’s health, physical development and safety which is at stake.
    If you need further details, or need to see the parents association or school management, please advise us so that we can organise the meeting
    Look forward to receiving your positive response
    Thanks and Regards