AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL

FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS - D.O.G.S.

PRESS RELEASE 224 #.

 19 OCTOBER   2007

CHURCH RUNS STATE RAGGED

WITH SECRET MEETINGS WITH RUDD AND SMITH

ALP NEEDS POLICY DROPPED

 

 

Massive Change not Anticipated:

At the ALP's National Conference earlier this year the Shadow Education Minister, Stephen Smith indicated to the ALP Conference that a Rudd Government would pursue a Needs based funding model. There were no expectations that the ALP would change from a Needs based policy to the current Coalition Socio Economic Status (SES) Model. The switch by Rudd/Smith  to the SES model means that private school fees and private income are not taken into account in establishing the need for recurrent funding. This can only mean that the wealthy get wealthier while crying needier.

Added to this is the use of post codes to indicate the economic status of a particular parent. Since private schools are patronised by the wealthier parents in a poorer socio economic area, once again, the wealthier get wealthier while crying needier.

Education watchers have been surprised at the ALP switch to the SES type funding when for years the labour party has been attacking it as 'dysfunctional and unsustainable''; as 'delivering the largest increases in Commonwealth Funding to some of the best resourced schools in Australia'.

Secret Meetings Between Rudd, Smith and Church School Lobbyists

Many shocked citizens are wondering: How could the Rudd/Smith decision be made. The answer is simple.

The overwhelming majority of Australian politicians are in the thrall of the Church school interest. In fact, Stephen Smith is on both sides of the fence at the same time. He is both an ALP politician and dedicated Roman Catholic.

Unfortunately, in Australia, on too many occasions, those interested in the public good and public education find out after the event, that policies have changed as a result of intervention of the church school interest into the body politic. The abandonment of the 35 year old Needs policy is just another example.

What has Been Revealed in Recent Days?

 Private deals with small fry:

Independent Schools Council of Australia:

Bill Daniels, in his News Release 10 October 2007, revealed that there had been private negotiations with the ALP :

'The ALP's announcement is consistent with ISCA's discussions with the Shadow Minister Stephen Smith over recent months.

Christian Schools Australia:

Stephen Doherty on 9 October 2007, referred to the ALP policy changes as follows:

'The commitment confirmed assurances during the current term in policy discussions between the federal opposition and CSA. We welcome this announcement with which the federal Labour has honoured its commitment to change the way it views non-government school funding.

Private deals with the Big Boys  - the Roman Catholic Church

Secret meetings between politicians and the Roman Catholic church was the overwhelming reason why the 35 year old Needs Policy was dropped. Startling admissions on the effect of these secret meetings were contained in the Australian on October 9 and 10  and finally, in the Sydney Morning Herald on October 13 2007. We have yet to find anything on the matter in The Age. ( Surprise! Surprise!)

         Revelations from The Australian: October 9 and 10, 2007.

 According to the Australian, the ALP's decision follows lengthy negotiations with the Roman Catholic sector. Elsewhere the Australian revealed that :

Cardinal Pell yesterday detailed a series of meetings with Mr Rudd and Opposition education spokesman Stephen Smith and said he was impressed with what he had heard.' It was at the Sydney campus of Notre Dame,  I think that the shadow minister, like the minister, is over his portfolio,' he said. ...'He has no hostility at all to the catholic and independent sector. 'He said that the ALP's new policy was welcome.' We had a slab of schools where there would have been problems. I've been public and on the record acknowledging we don' t have as many poor Catholics in our schools as I would like'

(N.B. Cardinal Pell may be weeping crocodile tears for the poor Catholic children in State schools but he is admitting that the current children in Catholic  schools are no longer 'needy')

 in the earlier report of October 9 2007, the Australian noted that 'the ALP's decision follows lengthy negotiations with the Catholic sector. 

However, what the Australian did not mention about the friendly meeting with the Rudd and Smith at Notre Dame was that there were five rather than three people involved in this tÍte a tÍte about billions of dollars of taxpayers money.

Professor Peter Tannock 'was accompanied by Brother Kelvin Canavan , the Executive Director for the Schools in the Archdiocese of Sydney at a University of Notre Dame meeting . Canavan is one of the key activists in the Roman Catholic Education system. He is a key person in funding issues in that system.

DOGS congratulate the Australian newspaper for revealing some of the undercover Church activities. But missing from this account is the fact that Cardinal Pell not only said that Howard and Rudd were serious Christians but also that they both understood the contribution of the Church to education.

             Revelations from The Sydney Morning Herald  October 13, 2007

A few days later, the Sydney Morning Herald revealed the enormity of the behind the scenes wheeling and dealing with billions of dollars of taxpayer money.

It took less than a minute for the tall, stooped figure on the stage at the National Press Club this week to reveal how a multi-billion dollar deal is struck with taxpayers' money without a hint of public scrutiny. The former Aussie Rules ruckman and now a Catholic Cardinal, George Pell did not miss a beat.

A couple of meetings with the leader and one with the shadow minister and the deal was done. It does not matter whether John Howard or Kevin Rudd are in the Lodge at Christmas, It is a sure each way bet. This is not just a small victory. Over the present four year funding agreement between Canberra and the private school sector, which runs to the end of next year, the National Catholic Education Commission will receive $12 billion. There is no public scrutiny of how this money is distributed: the electronic bank transfer of about $750 million arrives like clockwork each quarter and is rapidly dispersed across the parish school network. What is almost certain is that the next deal, covering the years 2009 -2012 will deliver about $15 billion to the catholic school system.

Education inflation is higher than the consumer price index inflation: it is typically about 6%.

If the influential but low profile negotiators from within the church hierarchy can push the government to increase the payments formula to deliver up a long held Catholic Church aim of achieving 60% of the cost of educating a child  - from 58% at present - there will be considerably more in the honey pot. And that, of course could open up the possibility of an auction between the government and the opposition, both desperate to woo the Catholic vote in the federal election.

The Executive Director of the New South Wales catholic Education Commission, Brian Croke, acknowledges that the Commission expects the forthcoming election period to be a busy one for all concerned.

SO, THE CHURCH IS NEVER SATISFIED: THE PUBLIC TREASURY IS ALWAYS FAIR GAME!

AUSTRALIANS WAKE UP TO THE PERSISTENT,  SKILFUL,  UNDERCOVER CADRE AT WORK ON THE PUBLIC TREASURY: A CANCER IN THE BODY POLITIC

Readers of this News Release may be unaware of that there is nothing new about this undercover activity of the Church in Australian politics. The recent intervention by Cardinal Pell and his minions  throughout Australia in the destruction of the 35 year old Needs Policy has become a normal procedure. The Roman Catholic Church has  intervened on the public funding issue since they lost it in the 1880s. If readers wish to find out some of their intervention since the 1960s go to Press Release 16 at www.adogs.info/pr16.htm  and Press Release 19 at www.adogs.info/pr19.htm

If readers think the DOGS are biased, then DOGS refer them to the view of Patrick O'Farrell, the leading Catholic historian of the Church in Australia. Consider  his following analysis of the political activities of Catholic Action in the 1960s. According to O'Farrell, commenting on the battle between Santamaria's movement and the New South Wales Roman Catholic hierarchy he said ;

The lay leaders of the Movement were naively unprepared for the ecclesiastical unscrupulousness they encountered: Õt was the 'Parnell case over again', as the clergy used, in  O Farrell's words 'political ploys, pre-arranged motions, secret arrangements, disinformation, deviousness generally.

See Vanished Kingdoms; Irish in Australia and New Zealand (1990)

 

 

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AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT  SCHOOLS

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Last modified:Tuesday, 30 October 2007