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



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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

16 September, 2009

Media release

Liberal Party says spending on country schools is "wasteful" - Murray

Education Minister Julia Gillard today 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 Sharman Stone to stand up for these country school communities she claims to represent, who deserve these funds just as much as schools in the cities.

What Dr Stone and the Liberals have never understood is that the BER is about building school infrastructure and supporting local jobs in every community, not just those in metropolitan Australia.

In Dr Stone’s electorate of Murray, over $121 million is being delivered for 200 building projects in 101 schools.

This includes $10.6 million for 100 schools under the National School Pride component for minor building works and refurbishments.

Five of the region’s high schools are sharing in $8.8 million for new Science and Language Centres.

81 primary schools are also receiving $102 million for major construction projects including new halls and classrooms under the Primary Schools for the 21st Century component.

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

If it was up to Dr Stone, none of these schools would be receiving these much needed funds, having voted against the measure in the Parliament.

It is time for Dr Stone to name which of these schools should not get funding and which building projects she thinks are wasteful.

The Government is getting on with the job of delivering 24,000 building projects in over 9,500 schools.

Matters raised today in the Australian Parliament regarding a school’s individual circumstances will be investigated by my department.

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