Fund­ing pledges abound

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - STATE ELECTION ‘17 - So­phie Moore

BEL­MONT schools have been promised fund­ing prom­ises from both side of the po­lit­i­cal divide as the par­ties at­tempt to shore up votes in WA’s most mar­ginal seat.

The Lib­eral Party promised Bel­mont City Col­lege, Como Sec­ondary Col­lege and Kent Street Se­nior High School a to­tal of $47 mil­lion in fa­cil­ity up­grades as part of the State Gov­ern­ment’s pledge to re­fur­bish high schools built be­fore 1985.

In re­ply, WA La­bor an­nounced $430,000 for up­grades to play­grounds and sport­ing fa­cil­i­ties at eight lo­cal pri­mary schools, on top of the $7 mil­lion pledged to build Bel­mont City Col­lege a per­form­ing arts cen­tre.

Un­der La­bor, Bel­may Pri­mary, Bel­mont City Col­lege, Bel­mont, Carlisle, Cloverdale, Kew­dale, Red­cliffe and River­vale pri­mary schools will all re­ceive money to up­grade fa­cil­i­ties.

Lib­eral’s prom­ises will be funded by the par­tial sale of Western Power and the $1 bil­lion Next Gen­er­a­tion Ed­u­ca­tion Fund, an­nounced last De­cem­ber. $560 mil­lion will be dis­trib­uted among 69 WA high schools.

Pre­mier Colin Bar­nett called the fund­ing a once-in-a-gen­er­a­tion op­por­tu­nity which would “stim­u­late the econ­omy by cre­at­ing 18,480 jobs”.

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Peter Col­lier said the fund­ing was based on an Ed­u­ca­tion De­part­ment au­dit.

“That au­dit has iden­ti­fied works that could be done, but prin­ci­pals and school com­mu­ni­ties will be heav­ily in­volved in de­cid­ing which projects will go ahead,” Mr Col­lier said.

Op­po­si­tion ed­u­ca­tion spokes­woman Sue Ellery said there was no guar­an­tee the Lib­eral Party would keep its prom­ise.

“At the 2013 elec­tion, Colin Bar­nett and his Lib­er­als promised to re­de­velop 36 high schools built be­fore 1980. They broke that prom­ise and never did those re­de­vel­op­ments, so there is no guar­an­tee they will keep this new prom­ise,” she said.

She said the sale of Western Power would “hit Western Aus­tralians with higher elec­tric­ity prices”.

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Peter Col­lier and Bel­mont MLA Glenys God­frey at the Bel­mont City Col­lege fund­ing an­nounce­ment.

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