The Labor Government is refusing to acknowledge the pain its plan to shut Moora Residential College will cause despite hundreds of protestors travelling from the Central Midlands and across regional WA to protest against its closure at Parliament.
Member for Moore Shane Love said community members were irate requests for Ministers to visit the Wheatbelt hub in the wake of their pre-Christmas announcement to close the college continued to be ignored. The Premier and Education Minister have refused to back down on plans to shut college doors at the end of the year, while Ms Ellery voted against a motion to debate the issue in the Parliament’s upper house yesterday.
Mr Love said the State Government remained clueless about the impact closing the college will have on the local community and economy by disregarding pleas to keep the only boarding facility between Geraldton and Perth open.
“Not only will the closure leave 27 current and many more future students without a boarding option in Moora, it will have a profound impact on local businesses that help service the college and broader community,” he said. “The State Government’s blind decision making when it comes to regional education has left thousands of regional West Australians fearful about education options for their children.”
Mr Love said loss of the college could also risk Central Midlands Senior High School being downgraded to district high school status, meaning students would have to go elsewhere to complete Years 11 and 12.
His comments come after passionate supporters of the college rallied at Parliament House yesterday, including 20 road trains that convoyed up St George’s Terrace.
Nationals WA Member for the Agricultural Region Martin Aldridge MLC, who tabled an 1852-signature petition calling for an inquiry into the effect closing the college will have on education opportunities, said many families had been left feeling helpless.
“The Premier himself has admitted that as a government ‘if you make a mistake, you take responsibility and fix it as soon as you can’,” Mr Aldridge, a former head boy of Moora Residential College said. “It’s been four months since the Education Minister announced $64 million would be slashed from regional education without any consultation with communities that would be affected.”
“Despite being met with public outrage and hundreds of people traveling to Perth to show how important the college is, the Minister continues to deny them or the Parliament the opportunity to address the issue fairly and transparently.”