WA Nats camp school con­cern

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - News - Pierra Wil­lix

The WA Na­tion­als have ques­tioned how camp schools across the State will con­tinue to pro­vide the same level of ser­vices and be sus­tain­able into the fu­ture, due to a sig­nif­i­cant cut in their bud­gets.

The State Govern­ment ear­lier this month an­nounced Fair­bridge WA would take over the op­er­a­tions of six camp schools across the State, in­clud­ing the camps in Bridgetown and Pem­ber­ton, with the op­er­a­tor set to re­ceive $250,000 an­nu­ally from the State Govern­ment to run the camps, which have to date been op­er­ated by the De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion.

But, War­ren-Black­wood MLA Terry Redman told the Times that with­out the DoE bud­get be­hind them, he could not un­der­stand how Fair­bridge WA would be able to con­tinue to pro­vide the same num­ber of camps or the same qual­ity of ser­vices.

“The Govern­ment will re­move fund­ing of $3.8 mil­lion per year for the op­er­a­tion of six camp schools, and will then give Fair­bridge $250,000 per year to­wards main­te­nance on three sites,” he said.

“This means there is no op­er­a­tional fund­ing pro­vided by the State Govern­ment at all.”

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Sue Ellery said Fair­bridge WA ac­cepted the terms of a pro­posal that in­cluded tak­ing over the ex­ist­ing build­ings, plant and equip­ment as they were, but re­quested the $250,000 an­nu­ally to ad­dress a short­fall in their as­sessed op­er­a­tion and main­te­nance costs of fa­cil­i­ties at Bridgetown, Dampier and Pem­ber­ton.

“This is a great re­sult for the camp schools and for the com­mu­nity,” she said.

Mr Redman said that given all six camp schools ran at an op­er­at­ing deficit in 2017, there was “un­der­stand­able fear”, and that their op­er­a­tion would not be sus­tain­able.

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