PROBLEMS FACING SUPPORTERS OF PUBLIC EDUCATION IN THE FUNDING WARS: MINISTERIAL ADVISERS AND LOBBYLAND.

Press Release 887

AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF

GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS

PRESS RELEASE 887

PROBLEMS FACING SUPPORTERS OF PUBLIC EDUCATION

IN THE FUNDING WARS:

MINISTERIAL ADVISERS

AND

LOBBYLAND.

 

The AEU has launched a Funding campaign - again.  Every election year, the Public Teacher Unions launch a Funding campaign, and, alongside parents’ organisations lobby Canberra as well as State politicians for more funding for public education.  They even organise large demonstrations outside Parliament house. This year is no different. Here is the latest heroic attempt of the Australian Education Union to balance the glaring inequalities between private and public education funding in Australia. See

AEU launches ‘Every School. Every Child.’ school funding campaign

It would be unfair to say that the AEU have been entirely unsuccessful. Some moneys have flowed through to public education and disabled students in the last few decades, but these crumbs pale into insignificance when compared to the largesse enjoyed by the Catholic and so called Independent sector.

And behind the scenes the commitment of public servants to the cause of public education in the various Education Departments has been undermined by the imposition of another level of advice in the political hierarchy: ministerial advisers.  The recent scandals in Canberra have drawn back a curtain on the extraordinary life style enjoyed by these political ‘minders’. They act as gatekeepers to genuine experienced public servants with independent policy advice.

Meanwhile the AEU and parent organisations are forced to fall in behind a long line of much more experienced and powerful ‘lobbyists’.

For Lobbyland is now the biggest employer in Canberra. But the interesting thing about the Greg Bailey article on the Menadue blog which is also produced below, is that there is no extensive analysis of perhaps two of the most persistent and powerful lobby groups in Australian Education: the Catholic Church bureaucracy and  the church schools Old Boys network. Greg Bailey  does, however,  say that :

The wealthy private schools with their lobbying and political clout are obstacles to needs-based funding, which is necessary for both equity and efficiency reasons.

For your consideration , we refer you to two of the John Menadue academic articles, one on Ministerial ‘Minders’ by Jack Waterford and one on Lobbyland, by  Greg Bailey.

Morrison’s minders at the heart of his doldrums

By Jack Waterford

Apr 14, 2021

…Perhaps a day will come when the champion rorters, liars, and conscious mis-managers of public resources are before a serious corruption commission and out on their ears.etc

John Waterford AM, better known as Jack Waterford, is an Australian journalist and commentator

And

Lobby Land. Influencers or influenced?

By Greg Bailey

Oct 6, 2020

There are many key public issues that we must address such as climate change, growing inequality, tax avoidance, budget repair, an ageing population, lifting our productivity and our treatment of asylum seekers. But our capacity to address these and other important issues is becoming very difficult because of vested interests with their lobbying power to influence governments in a quite disproportionate way. We are rightly concerned and distrustful of governments and politicians. We need better political leadership but lobbyists are a major contributor to the awful political malaise. The corrupting power of lobbyists must be drastically curbed.  The swamp must be drained….etc

DOGS note that it is at least promising that journalists, academics and public servants are at least thinking about and analysing the problems inherent in the current corruption and lack of transparency in the Australian body politic. But unless public school supports are prepared to take on perhaps the most powerful lobby groups in the Canberra bubble – the church and private school interests, our public schools will continue to receive only crumbs from the funding table.

 

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