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Thursday, 25 June 2009
Page: 4254


Senator LUDWIG (Special Minister of State and Cabinet Secretary) (9:54 AM) —by leave—The BER program is a massive program. It will see over 23,000 projects in around 9,500 schools. It is being implemented under a national partnership with each state and territory government, signed by COAG in February 2009. The national partnership and the bilateral agreements with each state, territory and BGA provide comprehensive guidance for the implementation of the program. Tender arrangements are the responsibility of individual state and territory governments. States and territories and the BGA have been encouraged to provide local job opportunities, including through responses to tenders. Each state or territory or block grant has determined their own process best suited to their particular needs. Project management fees have been capped at a maximum of four per cent. However, where an arm of government is project managing the program this is to be covered within the 1.5 per cent administration funding the Commonwealth is providing. No school set to close has been provided with funding; in all cases the schools are either amalgamating with another school or relocating to a greenfield site. This is allowable under the BER guidelines. For those reasons we do not support the motion.

Question agreed to.