New England by-election candidates will face voters at Armidale and Tamworth forums

At pre-polling in Armidale on Tuesday.
At pre-polling in Armidale on Tuesday.

SEVENTEEN candidates are now battling for the seat of New England.

Roads infrastructure, federal corruption, banking corruption, energy – it’s all on the table.

Now, the NSW Teachers Federation want to get the candidates talking about education.

Armidale Teachers Association president Michael Schiffer said candidates will front the public at a meet the candidates forum in Armidale and Tamworth next week.

“It will be focused on education and certainly open to the whole community,” he said.

“We want to talk about the federal government’s role in education in schools specifically.”

NSW teachers federation local organiser Tim Danaher said they will be inviting all 17 candidates to the meet and greet.

“The main purpose of the meeting will be to discuss school funding and the disparity between the original Education Reform Agreement and the new Gonski that Turnbull and Birmingham (Education Minister) have put out.

“It actually further disadvantages public schools rather than being a needs-based model.”

The $23.5 billion package was announced back in May.

But it’s left public schools short-changed, Mr Danaher said.

“We’re going to let people know how 80 per cent of that funding, under the new legislation, goes straight to private schools and only 20 per cent goes to our public schools yet we have all the need,” he said.

CALLING FOR MORE: Armidale Teachers Association president Michael Sciffer said local school children will lose millions in the next two years. Photo: Madeline Link.

CALLING FOR MORE: Armidale Teachers Association president Michael Sciffer said local school children will lose millions in the next two years. Photo: Madeline Link.

“We want to make sure the community and the voters are aware of what is at stake in this election.”

Meet the Candidates Forum will be held at the Armidale City Bowling Club on Wednesday, November 22 from 6:00pm.

West Leagues Club will host the Tamworth forum on Tuesday, November 21 from 6:30pm. Light refreshments will be provided. 

We want to make sure the community and the voters are aware of what is at stake in this election.

Tim Danaher