Our children are worth it

Don’t let Tony Abbott spoil the opportunity for fairer school funding

Maurie Mulheron

Recent Developments 

The federal bill that will make the Gonski schools funding reform law has recently been passed in the House of Representatives, and has been introduced into the Senate. It is likely that it will go through there unamended and returned to the House of Representatives for final carriage. This is all scheduled to occur before the end of June, when Parliament rises.

The NSW Government, in accordance with the schools funding agreement signed with the Federal Government, has framed its budget, delivered on June 18, to ensure that the NSW component of additional Gonski funding is available.


Federation has intensified its Gonski Guarantee campaign to secure a fairer funding deal for all Australian school children.

The South Australian Government has joined NSW and the ACT in signing up to the Gonski fairer schools funding model, but federal Opposition leader Tony Abbott is still threatening to tear up the agreements and federal Coalition members are pressuring their counterparts in other states not to sign up.

The threat from Tony Abbott is real. To date he has played a spoiling role when it comes to funding reform. Every public educator needs to send him a clear message that, if he has aspirations of being a national leader, he must start acting in the national interest and put party politics aside by publicly announcing that he will guarantee and honour the Gonski deal struck with the states and territories.

Last week, local teachers letterboxed Tony Abbott’s electorate with “Our children need Mr Abbott to guarantee Gonski” leaflets.

On June 12, more than 200 public school principals participated in a national telephone hook-up with the Prime Minister and Federal Education Minister Peter Garrett, where both were urged to push ahead with the Gonski model on behalf of students in public schools.

The border strategy that has highlighted the benefits of the fairer funding model for NSW children compared to those in Victoria and Queensland continues. On June 15, at the border town of Mildura, residents from both sides of the Murray met on the bridge to show solidarity.

Other campaign measures include corflute signs, television and radio advertising and “What Gonski means for your child” leaflets. Three Gonski campaign vans will hit the road next term, travelling around a number of important electorates across NSW.

Show your support for a fairer funding deal, visit igiveagonski.com.au.