January 11, 2018

Faragher urges Government to reverse other education cuts

The State Opposition has welcomed the McGowan Government’s decision to reverse the ill thought out and rushed cuts to the State’s education budget.

Shadow Minister for Education and Training, Donna Faragher said the Government’s admission it had rushed the decision was little comfort for the many Western Australians who had been left not knowing what the future held when the Government announced their cuts in the last week of the school year in 2017.

“These cuts were ill thought out, rushed and caused unnecessary hurt and anxiety, particularly in regional and remote WA,” Mrs Faragher said.

“The Liberal Party welcomes the fact that the Schools of the Air won’t be abolished, the Gifted and Talented programs and the Level 3 teacher intake program will now remain intact and other cuts have been reversed,” Mrs Faragher said.

“We do however remain deeply concerned that other education services will continue to be negatively impacted by this Government.

“The Opposition will continue to highlight to the community the folly of the Government’s decisions and campaign for their reversal.

“Make no mistake, these cuts were never about budget repair. They were about helping pay for Labor’s billions of dollars of unfunded election policies.

“The Government’s excuse that their decision was rushed does not wash. The savings were not due to come in until 2019.

“The Minister announced the decision after Parliament went into recess, as the school year was closing and in the lead up to Christmas, hoping the decision would avoid scrutiny. Instead, it caused unnecessary angst and distress to many, many families.

Mrs Faragher said if the Government’s decisions that were reversed today were rushed, then the decisions to cut funding to Landsdale Farm School, repurpose Tuart College, only accept overseas fee-paying students at Canning College, close residential accommodation at Moora College and increase the cost of VacSwim were also rushed.

“The Government knows these cuts are to fund $3.7 billion of election commitments detailed in their budget. They need to go back to the drawing board, work with the community, listen to the concerns of those affected, and review the remaining cuts.”

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