Funds bol­ster school se­cu­rity

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Cloverdale - Jaime Shurmer

KEW­DALE’S Aus­tralian Is­lamic Col­lege will use $193,973 in fed­eral funds to boost its se­cu­rity, par­tic­u­larly around its new build­ings, to pro­tect the school com­mu­nity from re­li­gious or racially mo­ti­vated at­tacks.

About 200 schools ap­plied for the fund­ing, but 54 schools met the Schools Se­cu­rity Pro­gram cri­te­ria.

Swan MHR Steve Irons wel­comed fund­ing for two schools in the elec­torate, in­clud­ing Lang­ford Is­lamic Col­lege, and said it was for gov­ern­ment, Jewish, Is­lamic and in­de­pen­dent schools. “This de­liv­ers on our elec­tion com­mit­ment to as­sist schools at risk of attack, ha­rass­ment or vi­o­lence caused by racial or re­li­gious in­tol­er­ance,” Mr Irons said.

“For the first time – as com­mit­ted by the Coali­tion prior to the elec­tion – fund­ing un­der this pro­gram can be used to em­ploy se­cu­rity guards, as well as the in­stal­la­tion of se­cu­rity in­fra­struc­ture, such as closed-cir­cuit tele­vi­sion cam­eras, se­cu­rity light­ing and fenc­ing.”

Aus­tralian Is­lamic Col­lege ex­ec­u­tive prin­ci­pal Ab­dul­lah Khan said the school al­ready had ex­ter­nal fenc­ing and some CCTV cam­eras. “The fund­ing will be used to en­hance the se­cu­rity sys­tem and light­ing, in­clud­ing the new build­ings,” he said.

As of last Wed­nes­day, the school was yet to hear ex­actly what se­cu­rity mea­sures it was per­mit­ted to spend the fund­ing on.

In ap­ply­ing, schools had to show they were at risk of attack, ha­rass­ment or vi­o­lence stem­ming from racial or re­li­gious in­tol­er­ance and how their pro­posed, cost-ef­fec­tive project would ad­dress those risks and schools needed to show they could cover any on­go­ing costs as the fund­ing is non-re­cur­rent.

Pic­ture: David Baylis

Aus­tralian Is­lamic Col­lege ex­ec­u­tive prin­ci­pal Ab­dul­lah Khan.

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