Political parties throw money at schools in Blemont electorate

Education Minister Peter Collier and Belmont MLA Glenys Godfrey at the Belmont City College funding announcement.
Education Minister Peter Collier and Belmont MLA Glenys Godfrey at the Belmont City College funding announcement.

BELMONT schools have been promised funding from both side of the political divide as the parties attempt to shore up votes in WA’s most marginal seat.

The Liberal Party promised Belmont City College, Como Secondary College and Kent Street Senior High School a total of $47 million in facility upgrades as part of its pledge to refurbish high schools built before 1985.

In reply, WA Labor announced $430,000 for upgrades to playgrounds and sporting facilities at eight local primary schools, on top of the $7 million pledged to build Belmont City College a performing arts centre.

Under Labor, Belmay Primary, Belmont City College, Belmont, Carlisle, Cloverdale, Kewdale, Redcliffe and Rivervale primary schools will all receive money to upgrade facilities.

Liberal’s promises will be funded by the partial sale of Western Power and the $1 billion Next Generation Education Fund, announced last December. $560 million will be distributed among 69 WA high schools.

Premier Colin Barnett called the funding a once-in-a-generation opportunity which would “stimulate the economy by creating 18,480 jobs”.

Education Minister Peter Collier said the funding was based on an Education Department audit.

“That audit has identified works that could be done, but principals and school communities will be heavily involved in deciding which projects will go ahead,” Mr Collier said.

Opposition education spokeswoman Sue Ellery said there was no guarantee the Liberal Party would keep its promise.

“At the 2013 election, Colin Barnett and his Liberals promised to redevelop 36 high schools built before 1980. They broke that promise and never did those redevelopments, so there is no guarantee they will keep this new promise,” she said.

She said the sale of Western Power would “hit West Australians with higher electricity prices”.