Congratulations to everyone that has participated in the Gonski campaign – particularly in the lead up to the Federal Election because you have made a difference.
The Tasmanian House of Reps Federal Liberal MPs (Whiteley, Nikolic and Hutchinson) who opposed Gonski were all voted out and opinion polls showed that, around the country, education was a strong factor in determining people’s vote.
Malcolm Turnbull has scraped across the line but his failure to commit to needs-based Gonski funding was a key factor in the decline of his popularity and the tight result.
Two things are clear: firstly that opposition to Gonski cost the Coalition votes, secondly that the Coalition has no mandate to end Gonski.
For those of you that took action for Gonski you have also helped educate parents, politicians and local communities about the critical nature of Gonski funding for our schools and that is significant. You’re voice has been heard by our State Government. In the election aftermath, Will Hodgman restated his Government’s commitment to Gonski and that is to be welcomed.
You will have noticed that politicians on the Conservative side of politics, including Mr Turnbull, often refer to “needs-based” school funding – that has not always been the case and another marker of the success of your efforts. Of course, we don’t just want lip-service from politicians we want action!
The Gonski campaign will continue because it’s what our kids deserve and what our state needs for a prosperous future – and the State Government agrees.
Gonski funding will continue until the end of 2017 and what happens after that is not clear because Mr Turnbull has not enunciated a clear plan – other than saying he’ll negotiate with Premiers. But a week is a long time in politics!