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Thursday, 12 March 2009
Page: 2604

Mr GEORGANAS (12:45 PM) —I recently had the honour to attend Henley High School in the western suburbs of the electorate of Hindmarsh and open their new facilities. This project totalled over $11 million and was funded with $2 million from the Australian government, $8 million from the state government and a staggering $180,000 from the school community. That is a significant contribution, if you think of mums, dads, school friends and the parents and friends raising $180,000 through selling chocolates and having barbeques and sausage sizzles. That is a great effort, and I would like to congratulate all the community at Henley High School on their magnificent efforts in raising that amount of money. I am proud to say that this government has also committed to providing every student with the best possible learning environment through the provision of new, upgraded facilities. The outstanding facilities at this school will help the students and encourage them to realise their full potential and to attain their goals.

As I said, I congratulate the school on establishing the best possible facilities for their students. Principal Liz Schneyder is an extremely committed principal. She is constantly knocking on doors and doing all she can to raise funds for the school. Whilst I was there, I saw demonstrations of dance and a full band of all ages playing rock music. The students were very happy and very engaged in their activities.

The Australian government is committed to the education revolution. To be globally competitive, we need a world-class education system and we believe that every child deserves a world-class education. An exciting new initiative recently announced by the Rudd Labor government is Building the Education Revolution. Under this initiative, Primary Schools for the 21st Century will provide $12.4 billion to build and renew large-scale infrastructure—including libraries, halls and indoor sporting centres—in all primary schools, special schools and the primary component of kindergarten to year 12 schools. Also, $1.3 million is available under the National School Pride program. All schools will be eligible to apply to state and territory education authorities and block grant authorities through BER for small-scale infrastructure building and refurbishment funding of up to $200,000, subject to the size of the school. These projects can include the minor refurbishment of buildings, installation of fixed-shade structures, covering outdoor learning areas, carrying out green upgrades—for example, water tanks—and providing support for students with disabilities or special needs.

The federal government also recently announced three successful schools in the Hindmarsh electorate under the Trade Training Centres in Schools Program. The successful schools were Henley High School, at Henley Beach; Immanuel College, in Novar Gardens; and Thebarton Senior College, in Torrensville. These schools will be equipped and their aim will be to help young people to learn the skills they need to effectively, competently and competitively participate in the workforce of tomorrow. The program addresses skill shortages in traditional trades and emerging industries by ensuring that Australian students have access to high-quality, relevant education and training opportunities that engage and encourage them to complete their studies. The trade training centres will also enable young people in our local communities to achieve their full potential and attain their goals. As I said, I congratulate the government on recognising the need to invest in our schools and to provide future generations with the best possible opportunities to achieve their potential so they can go into the workforce and participate in the future of Australia.

Throughout the early nineties in South Australia we saw the sell-off of many of our utilities, such as SA Water and electricity. Under the Brown-Olsen Liberal government of that period these utilities were sold off—and obviously the state Labor opposition opposed that. These utilities used to train a lot of our people. Part of their contribution was to train students who left school. For example, we had ETSA, the Electricity Trust of South Australia, take on 150 to 200 apprentices at the beginning of every year. (Time expired)