National Gonski bus tour maintains pressure on Turnbull government

Throughout March, the Gonski campaign hit the road to share the fair funding message, with two Gonski buses criss-crossing the country.

The first was launched in Adelaide and travelled through South Australia, Victoria and through western New South Wales and on to Canberra. The second was launched outside Parliament House in Brisbane by the Queensland Education Minister Kate Jones, before travelling through Brisbane, the Gold Coast and up to central Queensland via Wide Bay.

Each bus was tasked with sharing and collecting powerful stories about the difference additional needs-based funding is making in local schools.

The #OnBoardWithGonski tour coincided with the publication of “Getting Results – Gonski Funding in Australian Schools, Volume 2”, a report highlighting how a selection of schools have used Gonski funding to enhance outcomes for their students. Each school shares the story of the programs, interventions and investments Gonski funding has made possible in their specific context.

The Queensland schools featured in this edition include:

  • Berserker Street State School
  • Cairns West State School
  • Emerald State School
  • Harristown State High School
  • Loganlea State High School
  • Spinifex State College
  • Upper Coomera State College.

The #OnBoardWithGonski tour’s Queensland leg visited a large number of communities and schools, including:

  • Eatons Hill State School
  • Pine Rivers State High School
  • Upper Coomera State College
  • Beenleigh State High School
  • Yarrilee State School
  • Berserker Street State School
  • Biloela State School
  • Biloela State High School
  • Tannum Sands State School
  • Norville State School
  • Walvervale State School
  • Maryborough West State School
  • Maryborough State High School.

Along the way, it also called into state and federal MPs’ offices and met with Queensland Senators to deliver a copy of the report and seek local MPs’ support for Gonski. These included:

  • Peter Dutton MP, Federal Member for Dickson
  • Bert Van Manen MP, Federal Member for Forde
  • Ken O’Dowd MP, Federal Member for Capricornia
  • Brittany Lauga MP, State Member for Keppel
  • Kate Jones MP, Minister for Education and Minister for Tourism, Major Events and the Commonwealth Games and State Member for Ashgrove
  • Yvette D’Ath MP, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills and State Member for Redcliffe
  • Bill Byrne MP, Minister for Agriculture and State Member for Rockhampton
  • Scott Stewart MP, State Member for Townsville
  • Linus Power MP, State Member for Logan
  • Rob Pyne MP, State Member for Cairns
  • Glenn Butcher MP, State Member for Gladstone
  • Leanne Donaldson MP, State Member for Bundaberg
  • Senator Matthew Canavan
  • Senator Anthony Chisholm
  • Senator Claire Moore.

The tour culminated with an event on Federation Mall at Parliament House in Canberra on 22 March. The Queensland delegation held formal meetings with Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry MP, Federal Member for Moreton Graham Perrett MP and Queensland Senator Murray Watt. The delegation also caught up with other members of Parliament while in Canberra including: Federal Member for Griffith, Terri Butler, Federal Member for Oxley, Milton Dick, Federal Member for Rankin, Dr Jim Chalmers and Federal Member for Lilley, Wayne Swan.

The Queensland delegation also had the chance to talk to Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, Deputy Opposition Leader and Shadow Education Minister Tanya Plibersek and Shadow Assistant Minister for Schools Andrew Giles MP.

The report and the accompanying bus tour were designed to put pressure on the federal government, along with the states and territories, to commit to years five and six of the Gonski model and deliver funding certainty for all Australian schools at the next Council of Australian Government (COAG) meeting, now scheduled for June this year.

See the report at www.aeufederal.org.au/news-media/media-releases/2017/february/240217

You can view other schools’ success stories or work with your school community to share your own at www.aeufederal.org.au/success_stories

Brendan Crotty                                                                                                                 Deputy General Secretary (Member Organising)


Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 122 No 3, 14 April 2017, p16