Labor fails test on school maintenance funding for Benalla
19 August 2015
Wednesday 19 August 2015
The Victorian Labor Government’s school maintenance funding allocations have all but missed the Euroa electorate.
Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan said while $34,000 would provide a welcome boost for Broadford Secondary College, it was disappointing Labor had again neglected Benalla P-12 College.
“It’s hard to see why Benalla P-12 is not on this list when the school is spending virtually all of its maintenance budget trying to keep aging buildings serviceable,” Ms Ryan said.
“With $27 million in funding on the table, it’s disappointing that Labor has allocated just $34,000 to the Euroa electorate,” Ms Ryan said.
“Regional Victorians are again missing out under this Melbourne-centric Labor Government.”
Ms Ryan said Education Minister James Merlino was well aware of the needs of schools across the Euroa electorate including Benalla.
“I have raised the needs of the community many times in Parliament and written to the Minster inviting him to visit Benalla P-12 College,” Ms Ryan said.
“It appears that even after visiting last week, the Minister has not grasped the urgent need for funding to finish the school.”
Benalla P-12 School Council President Stephen Lister said that while the Minister had acknowledged the need for maintenance, there was still no commitment given for additional funding.
“Benalla P-12 College has a range of outstanding maintenance items that are being addressed in priority order and any additional assistance would be greatly appreciated,” Mr Lister said.
“The school has completed some minor classroom modifications to cater for 21st century education however the ongoing maintenance needs of buildings that are more than 50 years old is a financial drain that needs to be acknowledged.”
Ms Ryan said she would continue to work with the school community to advocate for more capital and maintenance funding.
“We will keep pushing the case,” Ms Ryan said.
“Education is the key to giving young people in Benalla a brighter future and helping our region become healthy and more prosperous.
“Benalla P-12 deserves recognition from the Minister for the excellent work they do in educating our young people.
“I trust the Minister will recognise this and provide the funding they need to continue this work,” Ms Ryan said.