Memo Mr Wilson

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9 March 2018

Dear Mr Wilson

I noted your comments on Sky News Australia this morning ‘there is more money going to Catholic schools today than there was in previous years’ with interest.

I am aware of your impressive CV and the work you have done in support of freedom of choice through your media commentary, your work for the Institute of Public Affairs and during your tenure as Australian Human Rights Commissioner.

With such a background, your comments about ‘more money going to Catholic schools today’ came as a surprise as, instead, parental choice in education – particularly for lower and middle income families – will be severely limited under Coalition policies.

This can be seen in your own electorate of Goldstein where the Turnbull government has cut close to $11.5 million – or 33 per cent of federal government support – from 12 Catholic schools since just last year, mainly inclusive parish primary schools with modest facilities. These cuts will have to be compensated for with higher fees or school closures, both of which will limit choice. Details are listed below for your reference.

I appreciate that this information may be new to you. The funding figures previously circulated by your colleague the Minister for Education to Coalition parliamentarians – just before you were due to vote on his school funding legislation – appeared to have been based on flawed parameters to create the false impression that all Catholic schools would gain funding.

Perhaps you might ask Senator Birmingham why he has not provided the correct information to you earlier.

Further information: Christian Kerr, 0402 977 352

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