Education Grants and awards | March 21, 2016

Drought stricken families miss out on school funding

Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy MP has criticised an Andrews Labor Government funding program which is designed to provide a one-off drought assistance payment to students.

Ms Kealy said the Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF) program which provides grants of $375 per student, was only being made available to students who attended schools in the 10 declared drought-affected Local Government Areas.

“I have been contacted by families who live in drought declared areas of the West Wimmera Shire and Horsham Rural City but whose children attend their closest state school in the Southern Grampians Shire area, which has not been declared as drought affected.

“Even though the Premier promised all families in drought ravaged Victoria could access the CSEF program, these families who are suffering from the impacts of our continued dry seasonal conditions can’t access this vital support for their children’s educational needs,” she said.

Around 5 families who live in drought declared areas and send their children to the Balmoral Community College have been told they cannot access the Labor Governments CSEF program.

Emma Kealy MP said the program is discriminating against students who lived in the drought-affected areas but accessed their education outside of those areas.

“This program was designed to ensure students of families struggling finically due to drought can still participate in camps, sports and excursions and not miss out.

“This issue has been seen across the State and I am urging the government to immediately extend the program to cover all students who live in the 10 declared drought-affected Local Government Areas, as the Premier promised,” Ms Kealy said.

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