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LETTER: Costing students their future

Just before the 2022 state election, the Labor government announced an $850-million program of capital works for government schools. 

Stawell West Primary School is one of many schools that was promised an investment, and yet last week’s budget again fails to provide a single dollar for the pledged upgrades and modernisation work. Stawell West Primary School was promised $4.7-million.

It was a very attractive policy at the time, after all every Victorian should want to raise educational outcomes and invest in the next generation no matter which party they support. 

‘You can’t get a first-rate education in a second-rate classroom,’ said the then-premier Dan Andrews, yet as soon as the election was won it seems the pledge was abandoned.

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These schools deserve proper support and students deserve the very best education. 

Instead, students, teachers and the community are left with a broken promise. It is no wonder that politicians are held in such low esteem.

In last year’s budget, funding for capital works was not allocated for most projects. 

Some schools were added to the list this year, but that still leaves Stawell West Primary School among many others questioning where their funding is. Children only get one education, they can’t wait around forever. 

I call on the government to deliver its commitment to Stawell West Primary School straight away. 

Interestingly, 70 percent of the schools promised upgrades were in Labor-held seats, and 80 percent of those have now received funding. But of the remaining schools, in Opposition-held seats, only 41 percent have been funded. 

This year’s budget proves that the many pictures taken of smiley Labor MPs visiting schools was nothing more than electioneering – a photo opportunity for a deceitful campaign. 

Labor really takes the crown for pork barrelling and distrust in government. 

Victorian public schools remain the lowest funded per student in Australia. Projected to reach a record high of $188-billion, Victoria’s ballooning debt and economic mismanagement is costing students their future. 

Bev McArthur,

Liberal Member for Western Victoria

The entire May 15, 2024 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!