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More schools and hostels needed in remote areas.

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Warren Snowdon

Australian Labor Party





More schools and hostels needed in remote regions

8 March 1999



Labor’s Federal member Warren Snowdon said today more schools and hostels were needed in remote regions of the Northern Territory.


“Education outcomes in the Northern Territory are just not good enough and the Government needs to do more to establish basic infrastructure,” Mr Snowdon said,


“Retention rates for Year 12 student in Northern Territory high schools in 1997 was 42 per cent compared to the national figure of 71 per cent.


“This starkly illustrates the necessity to provide a range of services in the bush for youth to access education.


Mr Snowdon was speaking in Parliament today in support of a Private Members Bill calling for the provision of recurrent funding for student hostels.


“In the Northern Territory we have only four hostels operating,” Mr Snowdon said.


“Mice Spring’s St Mary’s Family Service has a capacity of 30 and Callistermon House in Katherine has provision for 40.


“As well there are two Aboriginal hostels - Fordimail in Katherine which has 15 places as well as Wangkana Kari in Tennant Creek, which has 40 places.


“This is clearly not enough. There is a necessity for people in remote areas to have access to a range of services to help improve the poor retention rates in schools,” Mr Snowdon said.


“We need a system of regional high schools. At the moment there are no high schools for kids in north east Arnhem Land, south east Arnhem Land, the Borroloola region, and the Tanami,” Mr Snowdon said.


“The establishment of strategically-located high schools and accompanying hostels in these regions would dramatically improve retention rates.


“We would then see an improvement in the appalling education outcomes and better opportunities for employment.


“There is no doubt that youth who do not have access to decent education opportunities will have difficulty finding employment,” Mr Snowdon said.




Contact: Tony Haritos 08-8945 7400, 0417 804 878