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Minister calls on NSW Government to end the neglect of State Schools.



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Minister calls on NSW Government to end the neglect of State Schools

30 May 2006

The Australian Minister for Education, Science and Training, the Hon Julie Bishop MP today called on the New South Wales Labor Government to urgently inject more money into the ailing State Government school system.

Minister Bishop said the State Labor plan, confirmed today, to spend $120 million to prop up its failing maintenance programme is a grossly inadequate response to the infrastructure problems in NSW Government schools.

“It is even more absurd that some schools may have to wait over four years to obtain urgently needed assistance from the State Government,” she said.

“In contrast, the Australian Government’s $1 billion Investing in Our Schools Programme (IOSP) continues to fill gaps in State funding for vital infrastructure for schools.

“I have approved more than $107 million for 2359 projects in Rounds 1 and 2 of IOSP for NSW. The program received just over 1000 applications in Round Two, but this has jumped to more than

3000 applications for Round Three, which closed recently.

“Many of the applications reveal heartbreaking neglect of State Government schools, with school communities asking for Federal funding to repair toilet blocks, replace worn and unhygienic carpets, replace dilapidated and unsafe playground equipment and install shade areas,” Minister Bishop said.

Under the Investing in Our Schools Programme, State Government schools in all States are able to apply for up to a maximum of $150,000 over the life of the programme for small scale infrastructure projects that have been identified and given priority by school communities.

“The unique aspect of this programme is that every project is identified by school communities themselves. This gives a voice to the parents, teachers and students to tell the Australian

Government directly what they think is important for their schools.”

Last year, the Australian Government received more than 8300 funding requests from State Government schools across Australia for the Investing in Our Schools Programme.

For further information on the Investing in Our Schools Programme, go to: http://www.dest.gov.au/schools/investinginschools/

Media Contacts: Ms Bishop’s Office: Murray Hansen 0417 886 155

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