Pyne Abandons Gonski School Funding Agreements; New Arrangements After 2014

The Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne, has confirmed that the government will honour school funding commitments of the previous government for 2014 but will implement a new funding model after that.


Pyne was quizzed about the government’s abandonment of its commitment to the previous Labor government’s school funding agreements at a press conference today.

Pyne described the situation it inherited as “Shorten’s shambles”. He said the government will abandon an “incomprehensible mess” and implement a new funding model that will be “flatter” and “simpler”.

No government could bind a future government to

  • Listen to Pyne’s press conference (22m)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Official transcript of Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s press conference.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: …the unfortunate revelation that the previous government when Mr Shorten was the education minister cut $1.2 billion from the school funding envelope for the next four years. In the economic statement of 2 August 2013 the Government – which was the political document released by the Treasurer Mr Bowen – the Government revealed on page 57 that treatment of payments for non-participating states and territories was NFP which stands for not for publication. We’ve got other names for it as well, but not for publication – NFP. [Read more…]

Abbott Promises No Change To GST, No Cuts To Education, Health, Pensions, ABC Or SBS

On the eve of the federal election, Tony Abbott promised there would be no cuts to key services if the Coalition was elected.

Abbott was interviewed on the SBS News at 6.30pm on Friday, September 6, 2013.

He promised: “No cuts to education, no cuts to health, no change to pensions, no change to the GST, and no cuts to the ABC or SBS.”

  • Watch Abbott (26s)

Julia Gillard And Bob Hawke Speak At Woodford Folk Festival

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has appeared at the Woodford Folk Festival with her Labor predecessor Bob Hawke.

Gillard told the gathering that the “big decisions” made by her government “would have been effectively the same” even if the government had not operated in a minority.

She said that she wanted to launch the National Disability Insurance Scheme on July 1st and deliver “further education reforms” before “we get around to winning that election”.


  • Listen to Gillard and Hawke at Woodford (42m)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Gillard said she was an “incredible optimist” and cited her own life story as one that “instills a sense of optimism in me”. She said that “it says something wonderful about this place” that she could come to Australia aged 4 and become the first female prime minister. “Why wouldn’t you be optimistic about the future?”


Bob Hawke said that no predecessor or successor of his “has had as much difficulty with the processes of politics” as Gillard has. Despite not controlling the numbers, “the legislative record of this government is quite remarkable,” he said.

Hawke said that Gillard had been subject “to some unfair criticism because she’s a woman”.

There were cheers from the crowd when Gillard referred to her misogyny speech. She said one upside to her experience was talking to girls about going into politics. She told the story of a woman who told her young son that he could become PM, only to be told by the boy: “No, mum, you need to be a girl to do that.” [Read more…]

Rudd And Gillard Promote National Education Curriculum

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his deputy, Julia Gillard, have promoted the proposed national curriculum for schools during a visit to a Canberra school.

Speaking at Amaroo School, Rudd said the national curriculum was “a key pre-election commitment”. Australia would have a national curriculum for the first time in 2011. “This is in English, it’s in maths, it’s in science, it’s in history, and what we’re on about is making sure the absolute basics of knowledge, the absolute basics of education, are taught right across the country.”

As Education minister, Gillard said: “Curriculum has often been a mystery, a mystery for parents, for employers, they didn’t know what was being taught in Australian classrooms. We’re taking a very different approach. It’s there on the web for all to see and for all to comment upon.” [Read more…]

Rudd Calls For An “Education Revolution”

Education policy is also about nation building, according to the Leader of the Opposition, Kevin Rudd.

Speaking in Melbourne, Rudd announced Labor’s directions in education by arguing that “education is the pathway to prosperity”. Rudd said: “OECD research shows that if the average education level of the working-age population was increased by one year, the growth rate of the economy would be up to 1 per cent higher. Another recent study found that countries able to achieve literacy scores 1 per cent higher than the international average will increase their living standards by a factor of 1.5 per cent of GDP per capita. So whether it is through focusing on literacy levels, or increasing the average number of years spent in education, the evidence invariably shows that more educated economies are wealthier economies.”

Rudd and the Shadow Minister for Education and Training, Stephen Smith, released a 30-page document titled “The Australian Economy Needs An Education Revolution”.

This is the transcript of Kevin Rudd’s Address to the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne.

Labor is a party of reform. Labor is a party of economic reform. Labor is a party of social reform. Labor is also a party that has reformed Australia’s view of our place in the international order. [Read more…]