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Western Victorian schools to miss out on "their own" trades training centres.

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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

17 July 2008


In another blow to local voters, Labor has broken their election promise to put a trades training centre in every Australian secondary school, Federal Member for Wannon, David Hawker, said today.

Mr Hawker said because the funding offered to each school was so limited, schools were having cluster together to build anything that resembled a trades training ‘centre’.

“This means there won’t be a trades training centre in every school in Western Victoria like Labor explicitly promised last year,” Mr Hawker said.

“Labor promised a trades training centre in all 2650 schools Australia wide, and yet yesterday, after eight months, the Rudd Government announced funding for centres in just 34 schools or 1.3 per cent.

“The funding is so paltry for schools in Western Victoria, it will update the woodwork room at best - not create anything that resembles a specialised ‘centre’.”

Mr Hawker said Wannon is fortunate to have benefited from the former Coalition Government’s Australian Technical College initiative, where an average $24 million was spent on each College. The Labor Government is offering each school on average just $900,000 over 10 years to build a ‘centre’.

“This policy is a cruel hoax that won’t do anything to encourage more apprentices or address the skills crisis in Western Victoria,” Mr Hawker said.

“Labor’s idea of creating a trades training centre is to turn up at each school with a new sign to rename the metalwork room the metalwork ‘centre’.

“To provide proper trades training, Western Victoria needs continued funding dedicated to our current Australian Technical College - Wannon, which has scale, local industry input and expert trades teachers.”

Mr Hawker said Labor had failed to deliver on giving every upper secondary school student their own computer and now he’s failed to deliver on giving every school its own trades training centre.

“So much for an education revolution,” Mr Hawker said.

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Media contact: Jane Templeton (03) 5572 1100