Education Funding Must Be A Priority
I call on the Government to put the State’s school children first and to re-allocate the $80 million in the 2012 Budget equally between Willetton, Kent Street and John Curtin.
Fremantle Independent MP Adele Carles says the government has engaged in outrageous pork barrelling by channelling $80 million into Willetton Senior High School in a bid to retain the seat of Riverton at the next election.
Ms Carles says she has been shocked that the government would ignore the need for urgent upgrades at John Curtin SHS and Kent Street SHS in favour of a blatant vote buying exercise in the seat of Riverton which the Liberals hold by the slimmest of margins.
Ms Carles asks ‘Why has the Education Minister ignored the findings of the Education Department review that identified John Curtin as the number one secondary school in need of urgent renovation? Why has she chosen to direct all the funding to a single high school in a marginal Liberal seat?”
Ms Carles says “I call on the Government to put the State’s school children first and to re-allocate the $80 million equally between Willetton, Kent Street and John Curtin, as these 3 public schools have been identified by the Department as being in need of urgent upgrades. Kent Street and John Curtin students cannot be left out like this”.
John Curtin SHS has identified $1m of urgent maintenance that has been ignored by government on top of serious structural faults, unacceptable working conditions and science labs that have not been upgraded for 40 years. The Education Department has even developed a Masterplan for John Curtin with plans for the required future buildings.
Ms Carles said, ‘The Premier claims the funding of Willetton is justified because the school was built in the 1970s and needs ‘refreshing’. How can he justify that when John Curtin which still has toilets dating from the 1950s, science labs from the 70s, concrete cancer in buildings and the state’s best musical students struggling to perform in a demountable.’
“This is about all of our children’s right to an education and their needs come first – the government should not be playing politics and using selective upgrades to buy votes for the 2013 election.’
Read Adele’s Budget Reply speech: Budget Reply Speech 2012