Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull was days away from signing a $4.4 billion 10-year deal with the Catholic and independent education sectors before he was ousted in a leadership coup.
The deal was dependent on the Catholic education hierarchy agreeing to implement a needs-based funding model that assessed parents’ ability to pay school fees, News Corp Australia reports on Tuesday.
The revelation is the second leak out of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s newly formed government, and comes less than two weeks since he took the reins of power during the failed leadership challenge from Peter Dutton.
Mr Morrison refused to confirm or deny Monday’s leak revealing, Mr Turnbull personally approved a $7.6 billion roads and rail package as part of his re-election blueprint.
Labor education spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek described the leaks as an “extraordinary” display of disunity.
Ms Plibersek said 85 per cent of cuts the government has made in the first two years have hit the public school system.
“The idea that they would have a peace deal with just the Catholics and independents but not the public sector is completely unacceptable and absolutely would have reignited the school funding wars,” she told ABC radio.
“Labor’s commitment is to restore every dollar of the $17 billion cut from our schools, and the neediest schools will get the most, and a lot of them are in the public sector.”