To: The Federal Minister for Education and the South Australian Minister for Education

Don't penalise graziers in remote areas trying to educate their children.

Dear Minister,

The recent changes to the employment status of Governesses in SA from contractors to employees has created a huge financial impact on graziers. The poor decision by the Fair Work Ombudsman totally ignores the educational needs of children living in remote areas

The current system in SA has not been implemented nationally and even worse was introduced without due consideration or consultation with the families in remote areas who are affected by the decision.

The responsibility of the Federal and State Governments is to ensure that all children have an equal opportunity for education and the recent changes reflect an abrogation of that responsibility. If it is important for the change from an employment perspective then the government should pay for the additional cost of a governess for those families living in remote areas.The families who elect to live in remote areas provide an invaluable service for Australia and the current hard times, as a result of the drought, have been exacerbated in South Australia by this extremely poor decision by the Fair Work Ombudsman. The jump in annual costs from approximately $18,000 to $50,000, after rebates, is grossly unfair as graziers across the border are paying significantly less for the same or similar services of a governess.

I find it almost impossible to believe that politicians and bureaucrats who are paid huge sums of money can be so incapable of making a sensible or fair decision for the people they claim to represent. This matter has been in existence for nearly two years and no one seems interested or willing to do anything about this gross injustice to those that have been affected.

I urge the Federal and State Education Ministers to do something as a matter of urgency to reverse this appalling situation and to ensure that such a situation never occurs again.

Why is this important?

The system that has been created is blatantly unfair as only SA has introduced the new rules, which means that graziers using the same services in other States are paying far less for the education of their children.

Governesses are not nannies or child minders, they are teachers located on properties to assist in the education of children and to work with teachers in the School of the Air.

Our society needs to support the graziers and their families not penalise them.


2014-03-09 17:39:42 +1100

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