The McGowan Government’s lack of care and understanding for regional students and their families has again been laid bare after Labor MPs were caught wagging a key conference.
The Nationals WA Deputy Leader Jacqui Boydell, along with Member for Moore Shane Love, attended today’s Isolated Children’s Parents Association (ICPA) of WA annual State Conference.
Ms Boydell asked Education Minister Sue Ellery in Parliament this week if she or her Parliamentary Secretary, Hon. Samantha Rowe MLC, or indeed any representative from the Government would be attending the important forum for regional education.
“The answer I got back from the Minister was either ‘no’ or ‘I don’t know’,” Ms Boydell said.
“Now, I completely understand that the Education Minister is busy and accept that she would have a full diary of commitments, but I find it unacceptable that the Minister did not see fit to send her representative to this important event.
“It again reinforces the notion that the McGowan Government and this Minister do not care about education issues facing students and families outside of the metropolitan area.”
The Nationals WA education spokesperson Peter Rundle said it was “not a good look” for the Government to not have the Minister or her representative at the conference.
“It’s only been 15 months since the McGowan Government flipped the world of many regional families upside down with its disastrous – and ultimately unsuccessful – plan to close down the School of the Air and shut a number of residential colleges,” Mr Rundle said.
“Many families are still coming to grips with the uncertainty Labor created and the many education cuts that remain in place, such as the cut to the Boarding Away from Home Allowance.
“I would have thought the least the Government could do is send a representative to look these families in the eye and hear their concerns firsthand.”
Ms Boydell said issues discussed at today’s conference included additional resources for new principals, ensuring funding for School of the Air and the continuation of learning support teacher positions, along with increasing the conveyancing allowance and improved access to telecommunication services.