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Liberal Party says spending on country schools is "wasteful" - Gippsland.



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The Hon Julia Gillard MP

Minister for Education. Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Minister for Social Inclusion Deputy Prime Minister

15 September, 2009

Media release

Liberal Party says spending on country schools is “wasteful” - Gippsland

Education Minister Julia Gillard condemned the Liberal Party for opposing funding going to small country schools.

Members of the Liberal Party have consistently criticised rural and regional schools with small numbers of students receiving funding under the Building the Education Revolution, labelling it “wasteful”.

It is time for Darren Chester and the National Party to stand up for these country school communities they claim to represent, who deserve these funds just as much as schools in the cities.

What the Liberals fail to understand is that the BER is about building school infrastructure and supporting local jobs in every community, not just those in metropolitan electorates.

In Mr Chester’s electorate of Gippsland, over $117 million is being delivered for 190 building projects in 104 schools.

This includes $10.3 million for all 104 of these schools under the National School Pride component for minor building works and refurbishments.

Four of the region’s high schools are sharing in over $6 million for new Science and Language Centres.

77 primary schools are also receiving $100.7 million for major construction projects including new halls and classrooms under the Primary Schools for the 21st Century component.

19 of these schools have an enrolment of fewer than 50 students.

Mr Chester needs to challenge his Liberal colleagues to name which of these schools should miss out and which building projects are wasteful.

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