Fair Funding Now! Longman a sign of things to come
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 123 No 6, 31 August 2018, page no.12
In the lead up to the recent Longman by-election, QTU members across the Sunshine Coast and Metro North regions launched their local Fair Funding Now! campaign.
While many politicians and the national media were focused on the polls and the potential impact of One Nation as political kingmakers, QTU members were talking to parents outside school gates about why funding local state schools is more important than tax cuts for big business.
They also called other members to chat about the $18 million in funding promised to local state schools that was cut by the Turnbull government and the lack of capital investment in our local schools.
Engaging with the public at the height of an election campaign can at times be tough, but that didn’t stop local QTU members talking to voters at the Caboolture Markets and other community events.
Our message about education funding was also deployed by members in the Queensland Council of Unions “Change The Rules” Campaign during pre-poll and on election day. Again, talking directly with the community about the choices and priorities we want to see from our elected officials.
Meanwhile, our TAFE members were busy raising awareness of the need for a guaranteed 70 per cent guarantee of all vocational education and training (VET) funding being delivered through TAFE, rather than being squandered through for-profit entities who have a commercial, not an educational or community interest.
The campaign in Longman also included radio, online and newspaper advertising sharing our Fair Funding Now! campaign brand across the region.
Members and officers who were involved in campaigning for Fair Funding Now! and Change The Rules in Longman should be proud of their efforts and be congratulated. We know that QTU members are respected highly within the broader community and can be a powerful voice for change.
As we head into the second half of 2018 and towards a potential federal election sometime in early 2019, every single conversation will make a difference in securing a sector-blind, needs-based funding system for our schools and proper funding for our local TAFE institutes, once and for all.