Federal Government saves Moora Residential College

Federal Government has announced today, that Moora Residential College has been saved from planned closure by a capital injection, giving students, parents and regional communities renewed certainty.

The Federal Government has today revealed it will provide $8.7 million in capital funding to the Moora Residential College to fund a major needed refurbishment of Moora Residential College facilities.

“I have been pushing very hard for the college to remain open and am thrilled the Federal Government has stepped up and saved this extremely important facility,” Minister Price said.

“This is some of the best news for my electorate and I am very proud my support and lobbying for this outcome has been realised; parents and students can now enjoy the certainty of a bright future.”

Minister Price said the Australian Government offered the capital grant, which the State Government has accepted and committed to providing the necessary ongoing recurrent funding to keep it open.

“Investing in the College facility reinforces the Federal Government’s ongoing commitment to building a strong and accessible education sector in both regional and metropolitan communities,” Minister Price said.

The Moora Residential College was opened in 1974 and enables isolated students throughout WA to access boarding accommodation to enable them to attend Central Midlands High School.

A move to close the facility resulted in a grass roots community campaign, supported by many local Federal Members and Senators, which highlighted strong community support for its continued use.

Funding to secure its future will now be provided under the Federal Government’s Community Development Grants program which aims to support infrastructure to promote stable, secure and viable local and regional economies.

Nationals WA Member for the Agriculture region and former head boy of Central Midlands Senior High School Martin Aldridge said the decision to invest in the future of the residential college is welcomed.

“It’s welcome that the state government has reviewed and reversed it’s decision to continue the operation of the Moora Residential College.

“I think they reached a point where its position was untenable for a long time now we have had a constant refusal by the Premier and Minister Ellery in particular, to consider all good arguements as to why the college should and can stay open.

“It would have been much more timely for them to have done this many many months ago because this decision will have an impact on the future of the college.”

Mr Aldridge said although the funds mean a huge win for regional education there are still areas that are facing closure and funding cuts.

“I’ve got an amendment before the Parliament on the Governments foreign buyers surcharge legislation which is my plan along with my Nationals colleagues to see a full reversal of the education cuts to be part funding by those surcharges in WA,” he said.

“Obviously the decision today will mean the amount of money needed will be a lesser figure because the education cuts to date were in the figure of $41 million.

“I remain determined to ensure we don’t stop just with reversal of the School of the Air and Moora Residential College.

“We still have camp schools as well as our agricultural colleges that continue to face cuts as a result of the December 2017 decision.”

Mr Aldridge said the refurbishment isn’t going to take place in the short term but could potentially take place in the next few summer school holidays.