Nats amp up heat on La­bor over schools

Countryman - - NEWS - Rueben Hale

La­bor has been ac­cused of dou­bling down on cuts to re­gional ed­u­ca­tion, in the face of a back­lash from Par­lia­ment.

A cam­paign by re­gional West Aus­tralians has been in over­drive since the McGowan Gov­ern­ment’s De­cem­ber de­ci­sion to make deep cuts to ed­u­ca­tion spend­ing.

Af­ter a suc­cess­ful cam­paign to save School of the Air, the Save Moora Col­lege cam­paign has taken the cause global on so­cial me­dia as peo­ple af­fected by the cuts con­tin­ued to fight to have the re­duc­tions en­tirely re­versed.

A mo­tion, moved by Na­tion­als WA deputy leader Jac­qui Boy­dell in State Par­lia­ment last week, called for the La­bor Gov­ern­ment to hon­our its elec­tion com­mit­ment to pro­vide “qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion” to WA chil­dren and young peo­ple re­gard­less of where they live.

The Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil passed the mo­tion by a mar­gin of 20 votes to 12 with only La­bor MPs vot­ing against it.

The mo­tion asked for La­bor to re­verse seven de­ci­sions which were con­sid­ered to be detri­men­tal to the ed­u­ca­tion and well-be­ing of stu­dents across the State.

Ms Boy­dell said among these de­ci­sions were the clo­sure of six camp schools and La­bor’s ter­mi­na­tion of Moora Res­i­den­tial Col­lege.

“Tellingly, all six re­gion­ally based La­bor MPs voted in favour of the cuts — along with the Perth­based Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Sue Ellery,” she said.

“The vote of the six re­gional La­bor MPs to sup­port the sys­tem­atic de­mo­li­tion of ed­u­ca­tion in their elec­torates is a shock­ing in­dict­ment of where their pri­or­i­ties lie.”

Iso­lated Chil­dren’s Par­ents’ As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Natasha Johns said La­bor should take heed from their par­lia­men­tary col­leagues and re­verse the cuts.

“Ev­ery­one but La­bor MPs sees the in­jus­tice with the de­ci­sion to cut spend­ing on re­gional ed­u­ca­tion,” she said.

“It also shows more broadly that La­bor is out-of-touch with re­gional peo­ple and are not will­ing to be seen to make an­other back­flip on ed­u­ca­tion.”

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