Member for Moore Shane Love has called on the Labor Government to immediately reverse its decision to close Moora Residential College in the wake of the State’s GST windfall.
WA is set to receive additional GST funds worth $4.7 billion over eight years following a Federal Government proposal.
Mr Love said it was now time for the McGowan Labor government to see sense on the Moora Residential College issue and many other savage funding cuts affecting those who live in WA’s regional areas.
“As the only public boarding option for high school students in my 72,000 square kilometre Electorate of Moore, it is imperative that Moora Residential College remains a local and affordable option for students in the Central Midlands,” Mr Love said.
“Moora College is by far the best alternative for many students in the catchment area. “I’ve not heard of any students contemplating a move to the ‘nearby’ Yanchep College next year, as suggested by Minister Ellery last December.”
Minister Ellery announced the College closure on December 13, 2017 claiming in a Media Release the same day that the College closure was ‘to help fix the state’s finances’. The College closure was part of a broader suite of cost savings targeting regional education that were said to provide cost savings of $64 million and affect 170 staff positions.
Mr Love said the Education Minister had explained the savage decision on the grounds that ‘dollars were stretched to the limit and the State budget was in ruins’.
“Remarkably Labor has since announced countless projects in the Perth Metro area and Labor Members have subsequently admitted that the Moora College closure had nothing to do with budget repair,” he said.
“A portion of these additional GST funds must be quarantined for regional WA, to save Moora College, the Community Resource Centre network and reinstate the Royalties for Regions program to its original purpose of driving development in the regions.
“Access to education is a fundamental right and Labor’s discriminatory and callous decision to close Moora College is totally uncalled for in light of the windfall GST funds. That decision should be immediately reversed.”