Education | November 22, 2018

Labor unfairly blames Warracknabeal Principals

It’s an absolute disgrace that Labor Candidate Maurice Billi has blamed local Principals for the botched approached of the Warracknabeal Education Precinct project, in a recent interview on the ABC radio.

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy said blame falls solely at the feet of Daniel Andrews and his failed Labor Minister, James Merlino.

“Rather than taking responsibility for not providing appropriate funding and leaving our schools and students with nowhere to go, Labor are unfairly pointing the finger at our hard working and dedicated school leaders,” Ms Kealy said.

“Local Principals highlighted to Labor that their staged approach was not going to work, with the Secondary College offering for their portion of works to be reallocated towards full completion of the Special Development School.

“Adding salt to the wound Labor refused this desperate offer and refused to listen, leaving staff and students with just a third of the Special Development School (SDS) and only half of the Secondary College buildings completed,” she said.

In 2014 The Nationals provided a pre-election commitment to fully fund construction of the Special Development School on the new Warracknabeal Education Precinct site. The Liberal Nationals did not gain Government in 2014 and Labor proceeded with an unrealistic staged approach to building works.

This election, The Nationals have committed $6.6m to keep building works going, complete the remaining two thirds of the SDS and further committed to a full review to understand what works and costs still remain, so the project can be funded and finished.

“Our first priority is to get the SDS finished so that students can move into completed buildings, get the project back on track and see the project through to completion,” Ms Kealy said.

“The final cost to fully compete all works for the Warracknabeal Education Precinct is still unknown because Labor have completely botched the project staging.

“I have lobbied hard with the community over the past four years, raising concerns about Labors underfunding and poorly planned works, but Daniel Andrew and James Merlino refused to listen.

“Labor have refused to fund any further building works meaning a vote for Labor is a vote to grind the Warracknabeal Education Precinct to a halt.

“Only the Liberal Nationals will fix Labor’s mess and do the work required to make sure Warracknabeal Education Precinct is completed as soon as possible,” she said.

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