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Judicial inquiry into Labor's school hall program needed



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Senator Fiona Nash  Senator for New South Wales  Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Education  Deputy Leader of the National s in the Senate 

 

25

October

Judicial inquiry into Labor’s school hall program needed The Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Education, Senator Fiona Nash, has joined her colleague, Christopher Pyne, in calling for a judicial inquiry into Labor’s school hall program.

Mr Pyne, as the Shadow Minister for Education, today introduced a Private Members Bill to hold a judicial inquiry into the Building Education Revolution after countless cases of alleged rorting, collusion, bullying and waste.

A recent New South Wales parliamentary inquiry revealed a number of such examples involving country schools.

É $600,000 was spent on a canteen at Tottenham Central School in the central west that is too small and unusable. É $310,000 was spent on a library at Urana Central School in the Riverina that’s too small. The school could have had a bigger library built for nearly half the cost. É $892,000 was spent on two classrooms at Eungai Public School on the mid north coast. The school says

the cost should have been about $400,000. The school wanted a multi-purpose hall instead, but was told it was too small. É The Alstonville Public School on the north coast was to get a new hall and a two room modular classroom. It ended up with a hall that was too small, a covered learning area and no classroom building. É Government approved suppliers and contractors charged $230,000 in design and building management

costs to renovate a hall and refurbish a toilet block at the Henty Public School in the Riverina. A nearby private school was charged only $28,000 by a local builder and suppliers for a similar project. In Victoria, schools have complained that new buildings have been left surrounded by dirt, not properly landscaped and that they’re being left in the dark about projects.

“The Gillard government promised to publish all BER costs but we’re still waiting. It’s hoped an independent judicial inquiry will force the government to disclose how the funds were spent,” Senator Nash said.

“I urge the Independents and Greens to support this inquiry. It’s unacceptable that so many schools have been rorted and millions of taxpayers’ dollars have been wasted.”