Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
School hall building program falling down.

Download PDFDownload PDF

Thu, 11th June 2009

School hall building program falling down

The Hon Christopher Pyne MP Shadow Minister for Education, Apprenticeships and Training Manager of Opposition Business in the House

Revelations that one of Kevin Rudd’s hand-picked infrastructure advisers has slammed the Government’s “Building the Education Revolution” program is the latest in a litany of complaints about this program, according to Shadow Education Minister Christopher Pyne.

“Julia Gillard has established a pattern as Education Minister. She announces billions of dollars will be spent on a program, grabbing great headlines and photo opportunities, but displays no interest in how the programs are being delivered,” said Mr Pyne.

“The results are always the same: substandard programs being delivered at extraordinary cost. We have witnessed Computers in Schools, Trades Training Centres, and now Building the Education Revolution, which has had more complaints than Kevin Rudd has hard-hats.

“The taxpayer is being left with an enormous debt burden, and their children’s schools are being short-changed by this poorly targeted, inefficient and expensive program.

Hundreds of schools are being forced to accept “McSchool Hall” style demountables off the back of a truck, irrespective of what their local communities want.

Schools in some jurisdictions who wished to build new classrooms have been told that they have to build a stock-standard school hall - even when they already have one.

Many schools are not being allowed to use local builders, instead being forced to use contractors from hundreds of km away, or even interstate, at much greater cost.

In South Australia and Tasmania, it has been revealed that schools due to be knocked down at the end of the year are receiving millions for refurbishment this year.

State Governments and State Government-approved contractors are raking in millions of dollars as costs to schools for their buildings are spiralling out of control.

Distance education and multi-campus schools are missing out on funding while the most exclusive schools in Australia are receiving millions, and more than $3 million is being spent on the plaques to commemorate Julia Gillard’s largesse. (We are yet to see the final bill for the 9000 ceremonies Julia Gillard has demanded to be invited to, including the costs of her travel.)

Schools wishing to spend funds on energy-efficent air conditioning have been refused.

“These seven issues are just the start. If Julia Gillard is going to continue spending billions of dollars of borrowed money, she needs to get her hands dirty and fix the problems. The taxpayers deserve more than just expensive headlines for their $14.7 billion.”

“Australia deserves better than a part-time Education Minister.”