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Signing up for Gonski means cut to kindy, uni funds: Newman

Premier Campbell Newman said he would travel to Canberra “very cautiously”.
Premier Campbell Newman said he would travel to Canberra “very cautiously”. Brenda Strong

THE fight over whether Queensland should back the Gillard Government's Gonksi reforms could be drawn out until after the Federal election, after Premier Campbell Newman said he would travel to Canberra "very cautiously".

The Premier's comments came on the same day as Federal School Education Minister Peter Garrett warned Queensland risked losing $3.3.billion in funding if the State went its own way.

"Under our plan, around $3.8.billion would flow into Queensland schools over the next six years, compared to the $535 million on offer under Premier Newman's plan," Mr Garrett said in a Brisbane radio interview on Tuesday.

Mr Garrett was in Brisbane on a media blitz to pressure the State to take on the reforms, but neither the Premier nor State Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek took the opportunity to meet with him.

But the Premier said signing up for the Gonski reforms would mean a cut to the funding of kindergartens and universities.

Mr Newman will head to Canberra on Friday for further discussions on the deal.

"I'm not going down to Canberra being prepared to sign up to an agreement if it means universities and kindergartens are seeing their funding cut in Queensland," he said.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has given the states until June 30 to sign up.

New South Wales Premier Barry O'Farrell has already said he would likely wait until the final day before making a decision.

Premier Newman said his government's decision may take even longer.

"If we can come to an agreement on Friday, so be it," he said.

"If it takes to June so be it."Maybe we have to wait until after a Federal election."

Topics:  campbell newman gonski peter garrett


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