Education, health reforms and the Federal Government's obsession with a Budget surplus were the main issues when readers of thewest.com.au quizzed Julia Gillard in a live chat yesterday.
Readers took a keen interest in the planned education reforms based on the Gonski review, with queries about whether schools could manage their funding based on their unique needs rather than have a bureaucrat in Canberra do it.
Questions reflected cynicism about the Budget surplus, given the expensive promises made in recent weeks.
Ms Gillard assured readers the Government had managed to save more than $100 billion through "tough decisions", such as means-testing the private health insurance rebate.
She insisted it was not too early to return the Budget to surplus in 2012-2013 because Australia came out of the global financial crisis well and its economy was "the envy of the world".
The first participant asked how she got on "personally" with Colin Barnett.
Ms Gillard said she had worked well with the Premier on a number of issues and was pleased he had told her yesterday he had an "open mind" on working together to achieve education reform.
There was a question about the sweeping plan to give millions of children and low-income earners free dental care under a $4 billion package.Ms Gillard promised the scheme would "blitz" dental care waiting lists, which had spiralled out of control.
President Obama's speech was a fine tribute to a great man and a challenge to all of us to be our best selves #MandelaMemorial
@Kerrscur Or "we love footballs, meat pies, kangaroos and Chery cars"...
Another asylum vessel off Christmas Island. http://t.co/vYhAFdq8xv
My story today on Indon spy scandal: English classes in Jakarta taught by Oz teachers put on hold http://t.co/Z5N4CADHAv
RT @nickbutterly: Audio now up of Def Min warning worst on leaks could be to come http://t.co/IOMRyIrEhO
RT @amnestyOz: Homosexuality is illegal in PNG and carries up to 14 years jail. We fear for #LGBTI asylum seekers sent there http://t.co/9n…
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