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Wednesday, 28 October 2009
Page: 11369

Mr PRICE (9:33 AM) —I want to talk about the Building the Education Revolution program and the government stimulus package. I am very pleased to inform the House that, in the Chifley electorate, we have $140 million being spent by the federal government on Building the Education Revolution projects, a record amount. That $140 million is being spent at 66 schools, on 166 projects, including 82 projects in the National School Pride Program, at 66 schools, for a total of $11 million; 73 projects in the Primary Schools for the 21st Century program, at 49 schools, for a total of $116 million; and 11 projects in the Science and Language Centres for 21st Century Secondary Schools program, at 11 schools, for a total of $13½ million. This is a profoundly large amount of money benefiting so many schools in my electorate. The sad thing is that the coalition is opposed to this program. For the parents and citizens, the principals, the teachers and indeed the students, if there is an early election in 2010 there is no guarantee that these projects will be fully completed or fully funded, more is the pity.

I went to Willmot Public School, which received $200,000 in the National School Pride Program, $400,000 for a new COLA and $1.3 million to upgrade their hall, which was in poor condition, and existing COLA. Parents there were absolutely delighted about the announcement. I met with students, who were very excited about such a large amount of money being spent on their school. Unfortunately, Peter Corney, who is the principal at Willmot, was away on school business that day, so Carmen Cefai, the deputy, took me around. I confess that I am a bit of a gardener and I noticed on my walk around Willmot that they are starting a vegetable garden. I am pleased to say that Dick Adams had given me some very good Tasmanian seed potatoes, not all of which I could use, and I subsequently donated some Tasmanian seed potatoes to Willmot. I am looking forward to the harvest and I hope I am not offending any New South Wales potato growers! Congratulations, Willmot. I know that this will make a profound difference to your public school.