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Garrett’s 10-day gamble on Gonski goal

Media Release
Penny Wright 9 Apr 2013

Gonski could be 'going, going, gone' unless Education Minister Peter Garrett can quickly resolve political infighting with State Governments, says Australian Greens spokesperson on schools Senator Penny Wright.

"This Labor Government has had six years to do something about the failed school funding system in this country. Instead, everything comes down to the next 10 days before COAG," said Senator Wright.

"The Gonski recommendations for school funding were released 14 months ago, but Labor has dragged their feet and is now risking it all on cliff-edge, last-minute negotiations.

"It would be a herculean effort if Education Minister Peter Garrett can pull this one off and save the Gonski reforms.

"Unfortunately, this has proven Labor cannot be trusted on social reform. With the support of the Australian Greens, the Gonski reforms could have already been in place but Labor has continually to put their own interests and political gain ahead of the best interests of the community.

"Coalition premiers have every reason to be disappointed in Minister Garrett's management, but they have no excuse to overlook the bigger picture.

"If COAG fails to reach an agreement on Gonski, our whole nation will suffer. It will cost our economy billions and leave so many Australian children behind.

"Minister Garrett's failure to put money on the table and talk funding plans has been a huge blunder. His high-stakes tactics risk leaving school reform in the hands of Tony Abbott.

"Fixing appalling and systemic disadvantage in Australian schools is just too important to leave to Tony Abbott and the Coalition, who deny inequality exists in the first place."

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