Coalition promises $120m IT schools fund

Scheme would replace Labor's computer for schools project

The Coalition has pledged to allocate $120 million towards a fund that would allocate grants to technology for schools around Australia, replacing Labor’s computer for schools project.

In a press conference this morning, Opposition Leader said the fund differed from Labor’s project in that it would not simply say to schools “you will get computers — whether you like them or not”.

Labor’s policy — which has been progressively implemented since 2007 — promised a computer (typically a netbook or laptop) for every student in years nine to 12 as part of its Digital Education Revolution. But Abbott and his offsider, Coalition education spokesperson Christopher Pyne, said this morning claimed the rival proposal would offer principals more options and would actually be delivered.

“They promised 970,000 laptops in schools — whether people wanted them or not — and they’ve delivered about one third,” said Pyne. Abbott described the Coalition’s fund as “an affordable project in a fiscally constrained environment,” and one which could cover a range of areas, with principals being able to apply for funding on an individual basis.

The news came as Prime Minister Julia Gillard intensified her attack on the Coalition over its broadband policy, which would disband Labor’s National Broadband Network.

The central planks of the rival policy are a competitive backhaul network, regional and metropolitan wireless networks and an ADSL enrichment program that will target telephone exchanges without ADSL2+ broadband.

“If you elect the Coalition, the NBN will perish on August 21,” said Gillard, claiming Australia would not be able to match competing countries like Korea, Singapore and Japan for talent — “that’s where the jobs will go”, she said during a speech.

The debate around the competing parties has continued to rage over the past several days, fuelled by Labor’s revelation that the NBN would support speeds of up to 1Gbps nationally — compared with the Coalition’s guarantee of just 12Mbps.

NBN Co chief executive Mike Quigley was forced to deny the speed revelation had anything to do with supporting Labor’s election chances, in the face of a Coalition policy that would see his fledgling broadband company shut down.

Abbott has described the sudden 1Gbps speed increase as a “yet another technological rabbit out of a hat”.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags educationFederal Election 2010computers for schools

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?