Parents angry at BER cost blowout

PARENTS at Corindi Public School have joined hundreds across the country in criticising the Federal Government’s Building the Education Revolution program.

The P&C Association has forwarded a long list of complaints to Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker as well as Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

The association claims it hasn’t received value for money and at worst has been cheated through the education stimulus package.

P&C president Kellie Hoskin said the body believes the $900,000 price tag attached to the Corindi School’s two new pre-fabricated double classroom does not represent value for money.

The buildings had water damage when they arrived and have since had to be repaired.

“We are pretty angry at the cost of it because it has gone up to $900,000 and it could have been built for a lot less than that,” Mrs Hoskin said.

“Compared to local builder prices they would have easily been able to afford a fitted out school hall with that sort of money,’ she said.

The classrooms also came without any fittings such as whiteboards and air conditioning, which will have to be fitted at the school’s expense.

Due to the cost blowout, the initial plans for an additional water tank, solar panels, smart board and a covered walkway have been shelved.

Mrs Hoskin said the P&C had also made representations for a school hall with a small canteen through the stimulus package.

“However, because they were just short of the 150 student cut off for a hall they were unable to receive these funds. This was despite the school being in an expanding area and they have been well above these numbers since October last year,” she said.

Mr Hartsuyker said he had made representation to Ms Gillard but as yet had not heard back from the Minister.

“Corindi Public School is like so many other schools around the nation,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“All up, billions of dollars have been rorted and school communities such as Corindi have been treated with absolute contempt.

“The bureaucrats told them what they would get, without any consideration for the needs of the school community.

“And to make matters worse, what they were given was far less than what was promised.

“The reality is, there was clearly enough funds provided for these classrooms in Corindi but because of rorts the school has been denied the promised infrastructure.

“It’s a disgrace.”

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