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Labor's digital revolution useless: Carpenter.



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THE HON TONY SMITH MP S H A D O W M I N I S T E R F O R E D U C A T I O N , A P P R E N T I C E S H I P S & T R A I N I N G F E D E R A L M E M B E R F O R C A S E Y

M E D I A R E L E A S E

TSE022/08 Tuesday, 6 May 2008

LABOR’S DIGITAL REVOLUTION USELESS: CARPENTER

West Australian Premier Alan Carpenter has admitted Labor’s $1 billion digital revolution will be useless unless there is adequate funding to actually make the computers work, the Shadow Minister for Education, Apprenticeships and Training, Tony Smith, said today.

Speaking on the 7.30 Report last night, Mr Carpenter reiterated that he didn’t think the state governments should be expected to pay for the federal Labor’s election promises, particularly when it could cost the Labor states an extra $3 billion.

“It’s a matter of how you implement it, rather than having boxes of computers which nobody can afford to use in schools”. (Alan Carpenter, 7.30 Report, 5 May 2008)

Mr Smith said it was incredible that six months after the election and three COAG meetings later, the Rudd Labor Government still hadn’t worked out who was going to pay the costs to actually make the computers work.

“The first computers will begin arriving next month and there’ll be no internet connection, inadequate infrastructure and not enough power points to actually make them work,” Mr Smith said.

“And there’ll be no further discussion on this until the next COAG meeting in November - exactly one year after the election.

“At this stage the computers will be sitting useless in boxes at schools.

“Julia Gillard still hasn’t worked out that there are substantial costs to actually make the computers work such as electricity costs, installation and maintenance.”

Mr Smith said he would be watching the upcoming state budgets to see how much they had forecast for Labor’s digital revolution.

“You can bet parents will end up paying for these extra costs through higher school fees simply because it will be years before the Rudd Government and the states work out an arrangement,” Mr Smith said.

“It’s clear Labor’s digital revolution was nothing more than a cheap election campaign gimmick that will cost taxpayers billions but hasn’t been thought through.”

Media Contact: Rhiannon Keen, ph: 0438 316 505