Tuesday, 16th April 2013

UNSOLD POLICIES

Just 48 hours after its announcement, the Gonski education reform package is dangerously poised.
This is a highly symbolic moment for the Gillard government. It is surely the last major reform that the government will enact before the election, and for Gillard it's a signature reform. It also has broad public and industry support.
And yet the debate so far has been dominated by the cuts to tertiary funding proposed to pay for it. Even the architect of the original reforms, David Gonski, has criticised the government over these.
Victoria, NSW and QLD are unlikely to sign up to anything at COAG on Friday, preferring to wait until the final June 30 deadline, while WA Premier Colin Barnett maintains he won't ever sign the current deal.
Christopher Pyne says the Coalition won't support the reforms unless all states sign on, which would leave the Gillard government again relying on the Greens and crossbenchers to pass legislation.
This issue will drag on, and instead of providing a victory the government can proudly take to the next election, it will likely join the long list of well-intentioned reforms the government can't sell for love or money.

Nick Feik
Politicoz Editor

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Schools Lose $760m As Colin Barnett Rejects ‘Grossly Inequitable’ System

“Schools in Western Australia stand to lose about $760 million in federal funding after Premier Colin Barnett yesterday ruled out signing up to the new system proposed by Julia Gillard, which he described as ‘grossly inequitable’. ”
Also: Coalition Issues Deal Ultimatum – Lauren Wilson (The Australian)

We Remain Class-Based Without Gonski Reforms

“Don’t call it Gonski, we’re told: it’s the National Plan for School Improvement. Fair enough. Let’s call it Gonski Lite, because that’s what it really is. But full-strength or light, this is one of the big reforms Australia needs to carry out to make the most of its future. ”

Australia Is Now A Pawn In US-China Power Plays

“This is the harsh new reality for Australia. Neither America nor China will allow us to keep the two relationships separate because, at the strategic and political level, our intrinsic value as a partner matters to each of them far less than our symbolic value as a prize.”
Also: Nightmare Side To China Dream – Peter Hartcher (Sydney Morning Herald)

The Heart And Mind Of Bob Katter

“Independence suits him; like his heroes, he wants to be his own boss. He has little respect for “pygmies”, as he calls his political contemporaries. In his view, a tertiary education can’t teach you what hard manual labour can, which is an understanding of the problems of the working man.”

The Morgan Poll - Coalition Maintains Strong Lead, Despite ALP Gain

Last weekend’s multi-mode Morgan Poll shows support for the L-NP down to 55.5% (down 1% since April 4-7, 2013) cf. ALP 44.5% (up 1%) on a two-party preferred basis.”

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