Ask a nerd: primary school education and housing affordability


I'm a first year out teacher who wants to know what the parties will do for early childhood education and primary/ secondary education. I work in a very political field, however I get confused about what the parties will do about it post-election if they are elected into office.

Also, as someone getting married next year and looking to buy a house, I would like to know if there is anything about making houses more affordable for our generation? Because by the way things are going I have a snowball’s chance in hell of ever owning one.

Thank you! Corinne"

Hey Corinne!

I know it can get confusing figuring out what the different parties plans are, so thank you for submitting your question. Both education and housing affordability are key issues in this upcoming election, so let’s take a look and hopefully I answer your question.

what's a gonski? 

Much of the policies surrounding primary education revolve around Gonski. In 2013, the Labor Government under Julia Gillard agreed to implement the recommendations made in the Gonski Review, which was an independent review that sought to make our education system more equitable and efficient. This was to be done through reforms and increased funding, which is commonly referred to as the Gonski reforms or simply ‘Gonski’. Gonski began in 2014 and was to continue for 6 years until 2020.

Soon after the Coalition won the 2013 federal election, they decided to not fully implement the Gonski reforms, citing that it was too complicated and over-regulated. 

gonski post-election

The Coalition’s plan if re-elected in 2016 will be to fund the first four years of Gonski, out of the full six years, and commit $1.2 billion in additional funding from 2018 to 2020.

The Labor Party however plan to fund the remainder of Gonski, seeing it through its full 6 years and committing $4.5 billion from 2018-2020. Similarly, the Greens would like to see the Gonski reforms last their full length and plan to give $3.9 billion from 2018 to 2020. 

Across the two major parties there is a general consensus that early education needs to be more accessible and affordable. The Coalition plans to ensure that in the year before commencing school, all Australian children will receive 15 hours of preschool per week by investing $3 billion. Labor plans to increase the Child Care Benefit by 15 per cent and increase the annual cap on the Child Care Rebate from $7,500 - $10,000.

And we know how many other young Australians feel like they have a snowball’s chance of owning a home (as you so eloquently put!). To answer that part of your question we have a blog post dedicated to housing affordability and negative gearing. 

I hope this will help you with your decision on Saturday :) 

Emily at Y Vote

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