The Baillieu Government needs to outline to Wangaratta families when it will provide funding for the third stage of the Wangaratta High School redevelopment, Opposition Leader, Daniel Andrews said today.
“We know that modern education facilities have a positive impact on how students learn,” Mr Andrews said.
“Quality resources are vital to a good education and that’s why it’s important that the Baillieu Government makes funding stage 3 of the Wangaratta High School a priority.
“It’s not enough that the Deputy Premier, Peter Ryan makes a flying visit to Wangaratta and hints that the project is inevitable without saying if or when they will commit to it.”
Under Labor, Wangaratta High School had received a new senior school including an integrated library and new staff facilities, as well as a separate science, arts and technology building.
“Labor is proud to have provided over $18.5 million to this school while we were in government,” Mr Andrews said.
“Stage 1 and 2 of the Wangaratta High modernisation were funded as part of the Victorian Schools Plan – the Plan that the new government has not committed to fulfilling.
“Mr Ryan has acknowledged the stage 3 redevelopment is important but has failed to back the project.”
Peter Ryan has said:
“The worthiness of the project is unquestionable...However, our first obligation is to meet our pre-election commitments, and then look at what additional funding we have." (Wangaratta Chronicle, 11 March, 2011)
“Now Mr Ryan has seen the school first hand, he should explain to Ted Baillieu why the project should be funded sooner rather than later,” Mr Andrews said.
“I can assure all families in Wangaratta that we will be making it clear to the Baillieu Government that after Mr Ryan's visit, funding for the project is not optional.
Shadow Education Minister Rob Hulls said the Baillieu Government had already turned its back on the education sector.
“The Baillieu Government is already slashing $338 million from the education budget over the next four and half years so they will be struggling to find the additional money needed for this project,” Mr Hulls said. “Unfortunately, after more than 100 days in office, this Government is making it clear to all Victorians that education is not a priority.”