Hanson announces $85m schools package

Michael Reid 12 July 2016
Jeremy Hanson

ACT opposition leader Jeremy Hanson on Thursday announced an $85 million package to provide more support for Canberra’s schools.

The package would allow for new infrastructure, capital upgrades and maintenance, support for specialised schools and support for children with disabilities in non-government schools, he said.

Hanson, in his budget reply speech to the Legislative Assembly, said the Canberra Liberals had starkly different priorities to the Barr government.

“While they are committed to light rail and higher rates, we are committed to making sure our children get the most out of Canberra’s schools,” he said.

Hanson said his party’s More support for all schools package would total $85 million over four years, including capital and recurrent expenditure. It includes:

  • $60 million to fund new infrastructure, capital upgrades and maintenance
  • $17.5 million to support children with special needs in non-government schools. This would help meet the individual learning needs of those children and go some way to assist in the implementation of the recommendations of the Shaddock Review, Hanson said, and would come on top of the investment already allocated to the public system.
  • $7.5 million for specialised schools, including a $1 million grant for each of the four schools for specialised infrastructure.

“This is just part of our education package and we will continue to make further announcements to enhance our education system.

“The reason we can do this is we will not spend $1.65 billion on a tram. Spending $1.65 billion on a tram is also the reason why we do not have to continue the massive rates rises.

“That’s the choice, rail and higher rates or more support for schools, health and basic services.”

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