School Internet Service


Mr Malinauskas: Rat boy.

The SPEAKER: The leader will not refer to—

Mr McBRIDE: —and what impact will this have for the South Australian community?

The SPEAKER: The member for MacKillop, please be seated. Enough is enough. Leader, I ask you to withdraw the comment 'rat boy'.

Mr MALINAUSKAS: I withdraw.

An honourable member: And apologise.

The SPEAKER: He has withdrawn. No, I will determine whether he needs to apologise. He has withdrawn.

The Hon. L.W.K. Bignell: You apologise for selling out the river.

The SPEAKER: Member for Mawson, you are not assisting. I am trying to give the member for MacKillop a question, members on my right. Thank you.

Mr McBRIDE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. My question is to the Minister for Education. Can the minister update the house about the government's delivery of its election commitment for improved internet services for schools and what impact will this have for South Australia's communities?

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER (Morialta—Minister for Education) (15:06): It's with absolute pleasure and pride, in fact, that I am able to answer this question, and I thank the member for the question. I know that he's very concerned about the opportunities for support for this in our schools.

Dr Close: You can thank me for the budget.

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: The shadow minister for education calls out, 'Thank me for the budget.' It's an extraordinary thing. When we came to power, the previous government said that they would go out to tender and we had said that we would go out to tender. Was there a budget? No. There was an education budget and we had made a conscious decision—

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order!

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: —as the Marshall Liberal government, taken to cabinet and everything, that we were going to make available the funds to deliver on this deal. We went through a process.

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: The member for Davenport is warned.

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: There were a number of businesses that put forward their propositions. The education department worked with those businesses, and the cabinet decided—

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order!

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: —to support the recommendations from the department. We are now in a position where we can deliver fibre-optic cable, fibre-optic internet connection to all government schools—

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order!

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: —with four exceptions in very remote and specific locations in South Australia. Those four schools will have their own bespoke approaches that will meet their needs. Schools elsewhere will have speeds—

Mr Malinauskas interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Leader!

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: —up to 1,000 times faster than was available after 16 years of Labor administration. I congratulate the Labor Party on their election commitment, which we also had, to support increased internet speeds. We would not have had the slowest internet speeds for our schools on the mainland had it not been for the failure of Labor during 16 years to deliver better speeds and better infrastructure for our schools. But the Marshall Liberal government, like in so many other areas, like in TAFE, like in a whole bunch of other areas, is able to pick up the ball, pick up the game where it was left by those opposite, with the failures of those opposite, and improve the situation.

The member for MacKillop will be particularly pleased to know that schools in Beachport, Bordertown, Coonalpyn, Frances, Glencoe, Kalangadoo, Kangaroo Inn, Keith, Kingston, Lucindale, Meningie, Millicent, Mount Burr, Mundulla, Nangwarry, Naracoorte, Newbery Park, Padthaway, Penola, Rendelsham, Robe, Tantanoola and Tintinara will all benefit from this fantastic increase of speeds up to 1,000 times faster than they were.

The opportunity for professional development, the opportunity for curriculum delivery in all these classrooms will be vastly enhanced as a result of this decision by the Marshall Liberal government, that the school infrastructure for internet left by those opposite after 16 years in government, when they had 16 years of opportunities to do this work, will now, by the middle of 2020, be in place in all those schools.

The rollout is starting to commence. Every term from hereon in, more and more schools are being added. Indeed, whether it's the new Adelaide Botanic High School or if it's Golden Grove High School in the member for King's electorate, or if it's the Parafield Gardens R-7 School or Richmond Primary School in the member for Badcoe's electorate, already schools from Yalata to Bordertown, across this state, are going to benefit from this improved connection.

They will benefit from all the curriculum advantages and the education advantages that it will deliver. Delivered by a Liberal government by the middle of our—

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order!

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: —third year in power. Sixteen years? No. Three years? We will get it done, and we are very proud. Those communities in MacKillop—beyond just the schools—will benefit as well, and the member for MacKillop should be proud to be part of a government that is delivering for his community.