Posted on 23. Apr, 2013 in News

Primary and secondary schools across Victoria are still waiting for key capital funding promised to them by the Napthine Government ahead of this year’s State Budget, Leader of the Opposition, Daniel Andrews said today.

Mr Andrews and Shadow Minister for Education, James Merlino said that the opposition had identified over twenty schools across the state, still waiting for $74 million worth of outstanding capital funding commitments from the Napthine Government.

“Prior to the 2010 election, the Napthine Government committed $255 million for building projects for over 50 Victorian schools,” Mr Andrews said.

“Given Mr Napthine’s attitude to education funding, such as ripping $300 million a year out of TAFE and cutting $48 million from the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL), it is highly unlikely many of these schools will receive their promised funding in the May 2013 budget.

“Almost as soon as coming to government the Napthine/Baillieu Government’s abandoned the Victorian Schools Plan to renovate, rebuild or modernise every Victorian government school in favour of their own biased building plan based on Coalition marginal seats.

“The VSP was based on the independent advice and assessment of the education department – it was based on need, and schools all across the state were funded.”

Mr Andrews said that Education Minister, Martin Dixon, had previously admitted in Parliament that the Government was basing its rebuilding program on a political wishlist –

“Our members and our candidates came up with fantastic projects that are worthy and I will fulfil those promises. We will then look at all of the other schools.”
(Martin Dixon, Hansard, 21 December 2010).

Mr Merlino said that the Napthine Government had been playing politics with school funding since being elected to government over 2 and half years ago.

“The Napthine Government through its own admission has highlighted that it prioritises capital funding based on whether schools are in government held electorates,” Mr Merlino said.

“When Labor was in government between 2007 and 2010 an average of $469 million a year was spent on capital works on schools across the state.”

Mr Andrews said that Victorian parents, teachers and school communities were growing sick of the Napthine Government’s blame game tactic in order to cover their education failures.

“The Napthine Government’s failures to adequately fund Victoria’s education sector are very real; they are impacting on real families’ right across Victoria.

“Victoria’s education system shouldn’t be the victim of the Napthine Government’s budget bottom line.”

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