2019 Federal Election Coverage Archived

WebBanner for Federal Election



The 2019 Federal election will be held on Saturday 18 May. The election is being fought on new boundaries following an electoral distribution that increased the number of seats from 150 to 151.

Catholic Education will keep you informed about the policies that affect our 765,000 students and their families. We will let you know about our campaign to highlight the needs of Catholic schools and how the parties respond with their election promises.

Catholic schools are a vital part of Australia’s education landscape; from humble beginnings almost 200 years ago, Catholic schools have grown to become the nation’s largest provider of education outside government.

Today, Australia’s 1750 Catholic schools educate one in five students and employ more than 96,000 people, making Catholic education a key partner in the delivery of quality schooling with the government and independent sectors.

State of the Parties

The electoral redistribution not only increased the number of seats but revised the boundaries of many electorates, notionally adjusting each parties’ parliamentary representation as follows:


These changes mean the Coalition will need a net gain of three seats to win government in its own right while Labor needs four.

Under either scenario, the side with the most seats would nominate one of its MPs to become Speaker, leaving it with 75 of the remaining 150 seats on the floor of the House. In the event of a tied vote, the Speaker’s vote would break the deadlock.

Marginal seats

There are 18 federal seats that would change hands with swings of less than 2% at this election.

The Coalition holds eight of those seats - five in Queensland and three in NSW. It holds a further 12 seats by margins of 2-5%.

Labor is defending nine seats with margins of less than 2%.

The 18th seat with a margin of less than 2% is Wentworth, which is held by independent MP Kerryn Phelps.

More details about marginal seats in your state or territory can be found here.

Catholic Education's key election objectives

The key issues for Catholic Education at the upcoming federal election are:

  • increased capital funding
  • more resources for early childhood education
  • religious freedom in schools

In 2017, Catholic school communities funded almost 90 per cent of the capital works in their schools – nearly $1.3 billion – while the federal and state governments jointly provided $152.2 million across our 1746 schools. To put this in perspective, the NSW government is spending 10 times this amount - $1.5 billion each year - on capital works in its 2200 schools.

With the rising cost of land, construction and classroom technology, Catholic schools cannot continue to rely on parents and the rest of the school community to shoulder the burden of increased capital costs to the same extent into the future.

The federal government must help to ease the burden on parents if Catholic schools are to meet the needs of future students.

Catholic Education is also increasing its focus on the delivery of early childhood education, a vital component of each child’s development. Catholic schools are well placed to meet this need, with many new preschools being built next to existing and new Catholic primary schools. This will make life easier for families with young children and puts our pre-schoolers at the heart of our school communities.

Catholic Education will seek a significant increase in dedicated capital and recurrent funding to deliver quality early learning centres for our families.

While school funding arrangements have now largely been settled for the next decade, Catholic Education will seek to clarify details on key elements before polling day, particularly around maintaining the choice of low-fee Catholic schooling for Australian families.

Become informed

Education is an important topic at every election. It is therefore essential that everybody who cares about Catholic schools understands the key issues, especially how our schools are funded.

Catholic Education has prepared the following materials to provide an easy to follow explanation of school funding and other matters.

We encourage you to read these materials and use the information when contacting your local candidates, media and community.

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