Thursday, 28 November 2013

The list of people angry with Prime Minister Abbott's inability to govern wisely grows

On Monday 25 November 2013 the Federal Minister for Education Christopher Pyne, after just sixty-eight days in office, announced the Abbott Government’s plan to abandon the ‘Gonski’ national education funding reforms.

This was Laura Tingle writing on the subject in the Financial Review in the wake of Pyne’s press conference on 26 November:

Two months after being sworn in, the Abbott government is now at war with conservative states, the Senate and parents across the country. Not only is the politics of education calamitous, the government risks a High Court challenge to any attempt to walk away from education funding agreements with the states, being blocked in the Senate, and has even raised questions of sovereign risk...
 It now seems the Coalition neutralised a positive issue for Labor by lying about its intentions. This is the only possible conclusion you can draw from Christopher Pyne’s attempts to rewrite the history of what he said before the election at a fiery Canberra press conference on Tuesday.....
The federal government cannot surely be serious in its assertion that it can simply walk away from a binding agreement with another government.
Maybe Mr O’Farrell is right and this is but another example of the Coalition failing to come to grips with the difference between being an opposition and being a government.

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell reported in The Sydney Morning Herald on 26 November:

"Can I just make this point to the federal Education Minister," he said. "In all my years in politics, I have worked out that it is best to have respectful discussions and consultations in private, not through the media.
"And secondly, when you move into government, you have got to stop behaving like an opposition."
Mr O'Farrell said the schools funding issue had been poorly handled by the Abbott government. He wrote to Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Monday to express his concerns.

Mark Kenny writing in The Sydney Morning Herald on 26 November:

Christopher Pyne is too occupied with ripping down the education funding architecture of the past Labor government to spend a bit of extra time studying it first.
An offer by members of the Gonski panel to take him through the detail before he begins the demolition job has been rebuffed.
Of all portfolios, for a minister of state for education to appear so wilfully uninterested in further evidence is concerning at several levels.
At stake is no less than the optimum usage of multiple billions in taxpayer funds and, therefore, the future productivity of the country.
His refusal to allocate the few hours needed to satisfy himself – and be seen to be satisfying himself – of the facts, exposes an emerging pattern for this government: that its primary energies are more often directed at undoing reforms rather than making them.

1 comment:

John Fraser said...

"Murdoch and Abbott lied to Australians".