The Nationals WA Member for the Agricultural Region Hon Martin Aldridge MLC says the Moora community is fed up of the Labor Governments political games and excuses surrounding the closure of the Moora Residential College scheduled for the end of 2018.
Mr Aldridge questioned the Labor Government on a new assessment of the college, when they abandoned the $8.7 million refurbishment late last year – and was told this would be undertaken.
Education Minister Sue Ellery provided this evidence during Budget Estimates that consultants had been engaged to assess what was required to mitigate risks and non-compliant items at Moora Residential College, however, Mr Aldridge said much of these additional reports were never commissioned.
“Evidence provided to me clearly outlines that they haven’t done an additional assessment and they won’t,” Mr Aldridge said.
Mr Aldridge has since called for an independent condition assessment of Moora Residential College ahead of the McGowan Government’s planned closure of the college.
“I am calling for access to the college for an independent assessment to be done on the building’s condition,” he said.
“The Nationals in government made a commitment for a major refurbishment. The college can stay open for less than what it will cost taxpayers to close and decommission the facility, which the community believe could cost more than $1.4 million.”
Center: Hon Martin Aldridge MLC.
To date, $59,000 was spent to upgrade its fire system and $150,000 on scoping and design works.
If the doors close this year further costs include staff severances, additional school bus runs and transitional assistance for students currently boarding at Moora Residential College, money better spent on keeping the college open and maintained.
Mr Aldridge said Labor’s refusal to commission consultants to investigate basic works required for the college to remain open raised questions about the creditability of information used in the decision to close the college.
“The Ministers for Regional Development and Education have not stepped foot on the college grounds and have lost touch with the regional community,” he said.
“The community are right behind the push to keep the college open, from the Shire, local businesses and the many parents and children that will be affected by this decision.
“You only had to be at the rally a few weeks ago to see the public outcry and distress that was on display,” he said.
Mr Aldridge and The Nationals WA would continue to demand the McGowan Government reverses its cruel cuts to regional education.