Narrogin school community group says it is frustrated by Education Minister Sue Ellery’s reluctance to visit the town to face questions over Statewide funding changes to agricultural colleges.
A Narrogin school community group says it is frustrated by Education Minister Sue Ellery’s reluctance to visit their town to face questions over Statewide funding changes to agricultural colleges.
College of Agriculture Narrogin Parents and Citizens Association president Kevin Lansdell has sent multiple requests to Ms Ellery’s office for a school visit to face questions on a December decision to pocket a portion of profits from six WA agricultural school farms from 2019.
Mr Lansdell said his requests for a meeting were rebuffed, being told the minister was too busy to visit.
Ms Ellery’s office instead allegedly invited Narrogin families to make the nearly five-hour round trip to visit her office, which Mr Lansdell did not think was good enough.
“We’re full-time workers and volunteers with the school, so we can’t really drive to Perth,” he said.
The State Government funds the agricultural colleges, and in December Ms Ellery announced it would begin taking a 20 per cent dividend share of the Agricultural Education Provisions Trust Fund from 2019.
The colleges deposit about 40 per cent of profits into the fund, which is made from farming during the year.
The money can then be accessed by the colleges and small farm schools for replacing agricultural machinery, or for support during hard seasons.
The State Government share was estimated to be about $200,000 a year.
Ms Ellery’s office did not respond to questions before deadline.
Education Minister Sue Ellery.
Agriculture colleges will have to hand back 20 per cent of their trust fund from 2019.