Benalla Rural City councillors are furious about the Abbott Government's refusal to commit funding to early childhood education beyond 2015.LIBBY PRICE August 13, 2014 3:47am
Benalla Rural City Councillors have accused the Abbott Government of ‘‘outrageous cost-shifting’’ and of doing the ‘‘most unjust thing a government could do between those who have and those that have not’’, by refusing to commit ongoing funding for kindergartens.
At last week’s Benalla Rural City Council meeting they unanimously vented their anger at the Abbott Government’s refusal to commit funding to the Universal Access to Early Childhood Education Agreement and have pledged to send a Mayoral deputation to meet with Assistant Education Minister Sussan Ley, the Federal Member for the seat of Farrer, based in Albury.
It is estimated pre-school fees in Benalla would more than double from $1200 to $2750 per year if the funding was cut.
In 2008 the previous Federal Government signed an agreement with all states and territories to ensure all children have access to quality early childhood education in the year before they start school, delivered by univerity-trained teachers for 15 hours a week, 40 weeks a year. Currently the Victorian Government funds 65 per cent covering 10 hours, and the Commonwealth funds 65 per cent of the remaining five hours, with the rest coming from the community through fees and fundraising.
In the federal budget in May, the Abbott Government only included funding until 2015 while it reviews the agreement.
The council has already committed to support of the position of the Municipal Association of Victorian on universal access to kindergartens but has vowed to go further and will seek the support of other councils in the Hume region to provide a united front in emphasising the need for continued federal funding.
Council’s community services manager Deb Randich told the meeting council had very little control over pre-school funding.●
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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