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Commonwealth funding for local school libraries [New England]

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Sandy Macdonald National Party Senator for NSW

03 July 2003

Commonwealth funding for local school libraries

New England schools will soon be able to buy more books for their libraries with the help of Federal funding, NSW Senator Sandy Macdonald announced today.

A total of around $68,800 in funding has been allocated to New England through the Federal Coalition Government’s Grants to Primary School Libraries (PSL) program.

Senator Macdonald said that primary school libraries play a vitally important role in ensuring that all Australian students reach national literacy standards.

“Since 2001, the Howard/Anderson Government has been making grants to primary schools under this program to help build up their stocks of books by Australian authors, or books which have been published in Australia,” he said.

Between 2001 and 2004 the Federal Government will provide some $45 million to Australian primary schools under this program.

“Primary schools in New England are provided funding based on the number of students enrolled at the school in the prior year.”

“These funds can then be used by schools to purchase printed, audio, braille and e-books by Australian authors, or books published in Australia.”

Senator Macdonald said local schools should always be trying to increase their stockpile of Australian books.

“Such books are not only important because they are by Australian authors, but because they raise many important issues about what is happening in our country.”

“Australia is lucky to have so many talented authors,” Senator Macdonald said.

Media Contact: Rachel Kingsford Smith 6766 6998 / 0427 570 506