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ANAO audit to expose Labor's education revolution rort.

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ANAO audit to expose Labor’s education revolution rort Monday, June 29, 2009

Source: Warren Truss MP

Taxpayers will welcome the decision by the Australian National Audit Office to conduct a preliminary investigation into the Rudd Labor Government’s Building the Education Revolution (BER) program, Federal Member for Wide Bay Warren Truss said today.

“The Rudd Labor Government is borrowing $12.4 billion to upgrade schools with standardised libraries, halls and indoor sporting centres, but wide ranging problems with the program have alarmed school Parents and Citizens committees,” Mr Truss said.

“Unless major changes are made to the program, at least a billion dollars is likely to be squandered.”

The problems reported include:

• Lack of consultation with school communities on the facilities being provided

• Schools being forced to accept stock-standard buildings, even if they do not meet the needs, style or site

• Local builders and trades people missing out on work at their local school, in favour of contractors from cities more than 100 kilometres away

• State Governments and their contractors failing to control building costs

• Money being splashed on schools destined for closure

• School representatives being gagged from speaking publicly about their concerns with the program

“The Rudd Labor Government has failed to act responsibly in the expenditure of taxpayers’ funds. By rushing to push as much cash through state education departments as possible, the waste from this program is already mind blowing as more examples of rorting emerge every day,” Mr Truss said.

“For taxpayers and school communities, this means that they will not receive value for money.

“A hall which in the ordinary commercial world might cost $1.8 million suddenly costs $2.8 million under the Rudd Government’s BER program,” Mr Truss said.

“The Auditor General should conduct a full investigation into the BER program to ensure that taxpayer funds are not wasted and that schools receive the facilities they need.”