In the State Budget, Daniel Andrews has cynically scheduled the bulk of education capital spending to fall in an election year.
Victoria is in a jobs crisis and too many Victorians schools require urgent maintenance.
Instead of playing politics with school funding, Daniel Andrews should be bringing forward this spend to create jobs and fix our schools.
More than half of Labor’s planned spend is due to occur in 2022 - the year of the next state election.
Less than 9 per cent (or $6 million) of the $70 million in funding allocated to essential maintenance and compliance is to be spent in this financial year. Our kids and economy desperately need these works fast-tracked.
Schools waiting for upgrades to “improve educational outcomes through the provision of high-quality teacher spaces and facilities” are going to have to wait longer too, with 70 per cent of upgrade funding delayed for two years, until 2022-23.
Only 0.7 per cent of the total estimated expenditure on these upgrades will happen in 2020-21.
Daniel Andrews has also delayed two-thirds of funding for special school upgrades to occur in 2022 - just in time for the election.
The Liberal Nationals’ plan to get Victoria Back to Work and Back in Business called for an immediate ‘maintenance blitz’ and fast-tracked improvements for Victorian schools.
An immediate maintenance blitz would not only provide much-needed improvements to school facilities but also deliver employment opportunities for local tradespeople.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Education, Cindy McLeish:
“Daniel Andrews needs to realise the education of our kids is far too important to play politics with.
“School funding must be released now instead of being used as a campaigning tool by Labor in the lead up to the 2022 state election.
“Dilapidated Victorian schools must not have to wait for funding just because Andrews wants to cut a ribbon just before the next election.”