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Local schools lose water funding under Labor plan.

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Federal Member for Wannon

Hamilton Office 190 Gray St, HAMILTON VIC 3300 Warrnambool Office 73 Kepler St WARRNAMBOOL VIC 3280 Freecall 1300 131 692 E W

Federal Member for Wannon

23 July 2008


Western Victorian schools will effectively lose $20,000 from water-saving projects under a Labor Government scheme currently being promoted, Federal Member for Wannon, David Hawker, said today.

“Labor’s National Solar Schools Program replaces (from July) the Coalition’s Green Vouchers for Schools program which allowed schools to apply for grants of up to $50,000 for rainwater tanks or solar hot water systems,” Mr Hawker said.

“But under Labor’s program, schools can now only apply for grants of up to $30,000 for watersaving systems.

“This is an effective $20,000 cut for schools that could previously have applied for $50,000 grants. It will dramatically reduce the amount of water local schools could harvest and use to save their ovals and playgrounds over the hot summer months ahead.

“At a time when so much focus is on the ailing Murray River, it is extraordinary that Labor can keep a straight face while effectively reducing funding for water saving systems,” he said.

Mr Hawker said this funding cut comes on top of Labor’s decision to impose a means test on the solar panel rebate scheme.

“Labor’s decision means that a couple on a modest income of just over $50,000 each will now have to pay an extra $8,000 after tax to install solar panels in their homes,” he said.

“It’s disappointing that in such a short time we have seen Labor, who campaigned on their environmental credentials, pull the plug from the solar industry and water grants for schools.”

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Media contact: Jane Templeton (03) 5572 1100