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Penny Wong: Young people need opportunities in the regions

WE asked on our Facebook page which questions you wanted us to ask Penny Wong during her visit.

What will you do for youth unemployment in regional areas?

I think the first thing is to make sure we give our young people the best opportunities they have, or can, to get the skills that they need.

And the problem we've got at the moment is we've got a Federal Government taking money out of TAFE, taking money out of apprenticeships, making university harder to get into and asking people to pay $100,000 for their degree.

So I think the first thing is to try and get the right investments in vocation education, in apprenticeships, in TAFE - and we've got a TAFE funding guarantee - as well as making sure our universities are made accessible.

If your government was elected, would you add dental to the Medicare rebate?

I understand how expensive dental work can be, and in government what we did do was put money towards dentistry services for children.

Certainly, you know there's only one party that supports Medicare and wants to strengthen Medicare and that's the Labor party.

Can you give us an update on the Gonski reforms?

Labor has recently re-committed to the full Gonski funding. Our education policy is a commitment to the full Gonski funding, to roll-out across the country.

Of course this is a very big difference between us and the Liberal and National parties who have walked away from their commitment to fully fund Gonski.

People in rural and regional Australia will be the ones most disadvantaged by the National party's refusal to fund the reforms and I'm very proud Labor has put money on the table to make sure every child can be the best of who they are, no matter where they live.

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