PRIME MINISTER Kevin Rudd said his broadband and education policies would drive the jobs of the future, while visiting Penrith on Friday.
‘‘I look at UWS and Westmead and Nepean hospitals and see more jobs in education and medical and scientific research,’’ Mr Rudd said.
‘‘I also see great opportunities with the national broadband network, which is why I don’t want to see a digital divide with western Sydney missing out.’’
Turning to education, the Prime Minister dismissed opposition claims the government’s Gonski education package was not fully funded over six years.
‘‘We have signed agreements with NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania and the Catholic and independent schools sectors,’’ Mr Rudd said.
‘‘These are agreements that run from now to 2020.’’
He said the opposition was only committed to four years’ funding, effectively cutting $8 billion from the package.
‘‘Ask your local schools whether they’re happy with that,’’ Mr Rudd said.
He also announced help for small businesses with GST compliance.
‘‘At present small businesses are required to submit four business activity statements for the GST every year,’’ Mr Rudd said.
‘‘We are going to make sure that businesses which have a turnover of less than $20 million a year submit only one business activity statement a year.’’
Lindsay federal MP David Bradbury, who accompanied Mr Rudd, said reducing the amount of GST business activity statements provided effective help to small businesses.
‘‘Tony Abbott has a way with three-word slogans; ‘cutting red tape’ being one of them,’’ Mr Bradbury said.
‘‘Nothing has strangled small business with red tape as GST compliance has.
‘‘We’re taking out the scissors and cutting some of this red tape.’’
Mr Rudd then walked through Westfield Penrith, talking to shoppers.
Nicole Smuhar, of Blaxland, tackled the Prime Minister about the number of homeless people in the region.
‘‘I don’t believe he’s as far ahead housing homeless people as he thinks,’’ she said.
Another woman approached Mr Rudd and said she had been waiting for a hip replacement operation at Nepean Hospital for five years.
Mr Rudd spoke to her and Mr Bradbury said he would look into her situation.