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Liberal Party says spending on country schools is "wasteful" - Mallee.

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The Hon Julia Gillard MP

Minister for Education. Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Minister for Social Inclusion Deputy Prime Minister

15 September, 2009

Media release

Liberal Party says spending on country schools is “wasteful” - Mallee

Education Minister Julia Gillard condemned the Liberal Party for opposing funding going to small country schools.

Members of the Liberal Party have consistently criticised rural and regional schools with small numbers of students receiving funding under the Building the Education Revolution, labelling it “wasteful”.

It is time for John Forrest and the National Party to stand up for these country school communities they claim to represent, who deserve these funds just as much as schools in the cities.

What the Liberals fail to understand is that the BER is about building school infrastructure and supporting local jobs in every community, not just those in metropolitan electorates.

In Mr Forrest’s electorate of Mallee, over $137 million is being delivered for 226 building projects in 121 schools.

This includes funding of $12.3 million for 120 schools under the National School Pride component for minor building works and refurbishments.

Seven of the region’s high schools are sharing in $13.8 million for new Science and Language Centres.

92 primary schools are also receiving $111 million for major construction projects including new halls and classrooms under the Primary Schools for the 21st Century component.

30 of these schools have an enrolment of fewer than 50 students.

Mr Forrest needs to challenge his Liberal colleagues to name which of these schools should miss out and which building projects are wasteful.

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