Labor to set aside $30 million for schools in Ballina

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A Foley Labor Government will set aside $30 million to upgrade facilities and infrastructure at Ballina High School and Southern Cross School, without selling the electricity network.

Labor believes that providing high quality learning spaces is central to giving our children the best possible education.

The local community has for many years campaigned for refurbishments to Ballina High School and Southern Cross School.

Mike Baird and the Nationals recently announced a plan to raze Ballina High School, and replace it with a new “super school” – that high school students from Southern Cross would be forced to attend, too.

The local community has made it clear they just want improvements to the existing schools they know and love, not be forced into an amalgamation of high schools.

Labor will protect these two local schools, and having listened to community concerns, will provide these schools with state of the art facilities to give our kids the learning environment they deserve.

As part of these upgrades, Labor will investigate options for Southern Cross School’s dedicated distance education teachers to be located in a genuine facility together, rather than the current situation where these teachers are separated at different sites.

Funding for the new school will come from Labor’s additional $1.3 billion fund to build and improve schools and TAFE, part of Labor’s A Better Way infrastructure program. This is on top of the current budget for school and TAFE capital works – currently around $400 million a year.

Labor’s support for education is fully funded and will be delivered without privatising the electricity network.

Quotes attributable to Labor Leader Luke Foley:

“Giving our children the best possible education means upgrading facilities to provide the best possible learning environment.

“We will invest in education, upgrading schools like Ballina High and Southern Cross, without privatising the electricity network.

“Importantly, Labor will consult with the experts and the community to get our school plans right – instead of bringing in the bulldozers uninvited.

“Under Labor, upgrading these schools will not depend on privatising our electricity network – a network that generates dividends that currently pay for nurses, teachers and police.

Quotes attributable to Labor Candidate for Ballina Paul Spooner:

“Locals have been campaigning to upgrade Ballina High School for many years – and I am proud that Labor will deliver without selling off our electricity network.

“Locals are furious about the Nationals’ "super-school" plan – it fails the test of good policy making.

“Don Page clearly had no discussions with parents or teachers, otherwise he wouldn’t have proposed to close Southern Cross High School and build a “super school.”

“These schools are well-loved by students and their families. Labor will invest $30 million to make these schools even better.