3 Nov 2008

Murdoch warns against 'bludger' mentality

7:56 pm on 3 November 2008

News Corporation chief executive Rupert Murdoch has called for a major overhaul of Australia's education system. He also said that reliance on government handouts must end.

In a speech at the Sydney Opera House on Sunday, Mr Murdoch used the first of his six annual Boyer Lectures for the ABC to warn that Australia is ill-prepared for the global challenges it faces, including the current financial crisis.

Mr Murdoch also said there is too much reliance on Government subsidies, saying Australia was in danger of becoming a "nation of bludgers".

The ABC reports he delivered a blunt assessment of the nation's capacity to deal with the global challenges that lay ahead.

"I fear that many Australians will learn the hard way what it means to be unprepared for the challenges that a global economy can bring," he said

Mr Murdoch also identified several areas of reform that are needed among them the education system: "We have a 21st century economy with a 19th century education system and it is leaving too many children behind."

Mr Murdoch said apologies alone will not achieve Aboriginal reconciliation. He said indigenous children must be given access to top quality education, which they currently do not have.