Member for Moore Shane Love MLA has slammed claims by Labor MLC Darren West that there was no funding allocation to upgrade the Moora Residential College when Labor came to power in March 2017.
Speaking at the Save the Moora Residential College rally held in Moora on January 30, Mr Love said there was $8.7 million allocated in the 2016/17 mid-year review as part of the regional residential college upgrade program.
“This funding was removed by the Labor Government in the 2017/18 State Budget,” Mr Love said. “It is clear Labor’s priority is their unfunded election commitments in Perth, not regional education.”
More than 500 people attended the Moora rally in hot conditions, with some travelling from as far away as the Pilbara and Perth. Parents spoke passionately of the pastoral care provided to the residential college students and community members expressed their fear that the Central Midlands Senior High School (CMSHS) may revert to a District High School and detailed the economic loss to the district.
CMSHS P&C President, Tracey Errington said the loss of the 30 students enrolled at the Moora Residential College would equate to a 17 percent drop in student numbers at CMSHS. “That reduced enrolment translates to a drop in funding worth about $350,000 which would have a drastic effect on the school and result in the loss of teachers and subject choices,” she added.
Community members have actively campaigned to retain the college since the Education Minister announced its closure on December 13, 2017. The Moora community are no strangers to political campaigning, having publicly presented bricks to then Premier Geoff Gallop until he announced a new Moora Hospital would be built in 2004.
Mr Love announced the Save Moora Residential College campaign which would see pillows presented to key politicians to signify the College beds that were to be scrapped. “The message loud and clear from this Labor Government is that Regional students do not matter,” he added.
“The Premier has just announced three new metropolitan primary schools at a cost of $55 million.”
Mr Love said the Premier had recently made a flippant suggestion on talkback radio that the 30 students at the Moora College can attend Northam Senior High School or Yanchep Senior High School.
“He clearly has no idea of the geography of the area; this is about access to education and CMSHS is strategically located between Perth and Geraldton,” Mr Love said.