Posted on 19. Apr, 2012 in News

Families in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs could be waiting for years before any work starts on their local primary and secondary schools if the Baillieu Government again fails to include local projects in next month’s State Budget, Shadow Education Minister James Merlino said today.

Visiting the Mt Waverley Primary School today with Member for South Eastern Metropolitan Lee Tarlamis, Mr Merlino said the Ashwood College, Mount Waverly North and Blackburn primary schools were three of the dozens of schools which the Premier committed to upgrading, but the community might not see it delivered and finished until after the next election in 2014.

“Ashwood College and both Mount Waverly North and Blackburn primary schools missed out in Mr Baillieu’s first budget, and I fear that they will be forgotten again this year,” Mr Merlino said.

“The staff, students and their families were promised upgrades for the three schools totalling $15.3 million, only to be told it wasn’t a first-year priority by the Baillieu Government.

“Now, only days away from his second budget, Labor is again calling on Mr Baillieu to meet the commitments he made in 2010.”

“If Ted Baillieu cared about families in the eastern suburbs, he would fund upgrades at each of these schools in this year’s budget.

There are 35 unfunded school projects valued at $172 million, which come on top of the yet-to-be-funded $10 million ‘School Improvement Fund’.

Mr Tarlamis said Mr Baillieu should outline how many schools will miss out in this year’s budget.

“Victorian are beginning to realise this is a very different government from the one they voted for,” he said.

“Of the Government’s $255 million pre-election commitments to Victorian schools, over $180 million worth of promises are still outstanding.

“You would think the Baillieu Government would be keen to meet these pre-election commitments, given that four out of five of those promises are in coalition-held seats.

“On top of the promises Mr Baillieu is yet to deliver, there are thousands of students in schools across Victoria also waiting for upgrades, rebuilds and extensions.

“Local Liberal MPs Graham Watt, Michael Gidley and Dee Ryall should join with Labor and the school community and demand that Mr Baillieu keep his promise to fund each schools’ upgrades in next month’s budget.”

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