Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has declared he will “bring the school funding wars to an end” in a stunning policy turnaround.
Malcolm Turnbull’s surprise announcement that the Coalition have decided to adopt David Gonski’s needs-based funding model for schools at a press conference yesterday accompanied by none other than Mr Gonski himself may be considered one clever piece of brand association and possibly one of Turnbull’s better strategic moves in some time.
The Gonski brand has been long associated with the Australian Labour party as they commissioned him to run an independent review of funding for schooling back in 2011 which was highly received. Since the Coalition won office in 2013 they have fought Labour tooth and nail over the Gonski funding attacking Labour’s support for the Gonski model as unaffordable.
So for the Turnbull government this is one spectacular policy back flip and one in which has taken a sharp edge off of one of Labour’s most powerful attacks against the Coalition in the hope to sway voters in the 2018 election. Mr Gonski will conduct a new review for the government – dubbed “Gonski 2.0” by Mr Turnbull – on how the extra money can best be spent to ensure it boosts student performance and school results.
For years we have seen how commercial brands seek to leverage endorsement for their brands from ‘experts’ and/or ‘celebrities’, and the Libs have not only done something similar with Gonski 2.0, but they have seemingly blindsided the Labour party.
It reminds me a bit of the fashion wars that play out between Myer and David Jones, whereby they entice a major designer to jump ship and deal exclusive with one or the other.
Here we have the Gonski wars – each political party understanding fully the positive halo effect that he brings to their education policy agenda. Seems like Malcolm has won this one.