The news that the long-called-for upgrade of Miners Rest Primary School is now funded is a great win for the community who have fought for this outcome for many years.
However, Ms Staley said the circumstances under which the funding has finally been forthcoming are disappointing.
“I am happy to finally see the badly-needed upgrade at Miners Rest Primary School has received the funding it needed. It was a fully-funded election promise of mine at the last state election. However, the manner in which it has been funded and the timing leaves a lot to be desired,” Ms Staley said.
“On 18 March of this year I asked the Education Minister, James Merlino, in Parliament about this funding and he confirmed that the upgrade had not been funded. Yet today, in a Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) hearing, he has announced it is now funded.”
Under questioning, Minister Merlino admitted that the funding for the upgrade at Miners Rest, along with other school upgrades across the state would come out of the $24.5 billion the State Government will borrow in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“This is a prime example of the Andrews Government and its economic management. Having already put the budget in deficit before the COVID-19 outbreak, now they are using the unprecedented borrowing in response to that outbreak to fund their election promises,” Ms Staley said.
“It is pleasing to see this vital project finally funded. However, it should have already been funded in the last budget, work should have already commenced, and been nearing completion. That the students, parents and teachers of Miners Rest Primary School have had to wait until this health and economic crisis to get this project funding is less than satisfactory.”