January 29, 2018

Election commitments take priority over other vital services

In the midst of abolishing 36 Aboriginal education positions, closing six camp school sites, closing Moora residential college, ceasing funding to Herdsman Lake Wildlife Education Centre and Landsdale Farm School, reducing funding to Kidsport and increasing vacation swimming fees, the McGowan Government has sought to deflect attention by re-announcing one of their election commitments.

Shadow Education Minister Donna Faragher said that today’s announcement of the first 100 additional education assistants being employed in WA public schools this year was just a re-announcement of one made in June last year.

“The Minister is clearly desperate for a positive education announcement after she cut millions from the State’s education budget just before Christmas.

“It is fundamentally wrong for the Government to cut funding and close various educational activities or facilities which are invaluable to so many students from across the state, in order to fund their election commitments.

“The Government does not have a mandate for these cuts and they need to reverse them.

“The Liberal Party strongly supports education assistants and the important role that they play in our schools so if the Government can find funding for more when Western Australia has the best EA to student ratio of any state, then they can find the money to reverse their education cuts.”

Mrs Faragher said while the McGowan Government has attempted to give the impression there were reductions in the number of education assistants under the previous Government, the number of education assistants in Western Australia had in fact increased from 5,649 in 2008/09 to 7,800 in 2016/17.

“The former Liberal-led Government actually increased the number of education assistants by approximately 2000 between 2008 and 2016. We increased the overall number by approximately 38 percent when the student population increased by 16 percent,” Mrs Faragher said.

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