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Monday, 28 February 2011
Page: 1693

Mr TEHAN (10:36 AM) —I rise today to talk on an issue which appeared on page 3 of the Herald Sun today regarding the Waubra Primary School. Sadly, after a year the students at this school are still operating out of portable classrooms. Brand new buildings placed at Waubra Primary School have been fenced off while the community waits for people to come and fit out the school. Meanwhile, the students are operating in portable classrooms and two-thirds of their play space has been taken away from them. Every day that these kids arrive at school, sadly they get a reminder of the Gillard government’s incompetence. No wonder the Gillard government wants to tax Australians even more.

This is not an isolated example of the debacle which has been the Building the Education Revolution program, but this is just the latest. When the minister says that he will get the Orgill committee to investigate this school, I hope that he does and that he will get it done quickly. At the moment, the schoolchildren are suffering. Last week at a meeting between parents, teachers and the principal they considered reducing the school hours so the students did not have to stay in their portable classrooms so long and did not have to just look at the wire fence around their new school when out in the playground. This is where the BER program has got to: schools are looking at reducing their hours to make up for the Gillard government’s incompetence. As I said before, no wonder they want to tax us more. With debacles like this, it is no wonder they want to tax us even more.

Mr Mitchell interjecting

Mr TEHAN —Members opposite are piping up now. How can they pipe up when it has been such a fiasco? School students have to turn up at school and just look at their brand-new classrooms, because they cannot go into them. The students are in portables. The parents and the principal have held a meeting to consider reducing the hours that the kids go to school. Sadly, this has been writ large around Wannon. I have examples from six schools where the BER has been a total disaster for the local community. It is about time Julia Gillard took responsibility for what is happening with this program. It was her program. All she does is say, ‘Go to Orgill.’ She needs to take responsibility and act to fix it now. The gross waste has to stop.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon. Peter Slipper)—Order! The honourable member’s time has expired. I remind the member for Wannon of the provisions of standing order 64. He ought to refer the Prime Minister by her title and not by her name.