May 29, 2012

Carroll Continues Fight For EKC In Parliament

State Member for Niddrie, Ben Carroll has raised the issue of funding for the Essendon Keilor College directly with Education Minister Dixon in the Victorian Parliament.

In a debate last week in Parliament concerning Essendon Keilor College, Mr Carroll urged the Education Minister “to create a school environment that sends students the message that their school matters, their educations matters, and that their futures matter.”

In Parliament, Mr Carroll called on the Education Minister to provide the millions of dollars needed to upgrade Essendon Keilor College, saying “It is difficult to inspire students on the relevance and importance of education when the school around them is falling down.”

Mr Carroll said the school was neglected in the recent 2012/13 state budget despite the Minister for education himself stating last year that ”the conditions out at that school are disgusting, they are not safe for teachers, they are not good for those students.”

This is not the first time Mr Carroll has used Parliament to advocate for Essendon Keilor College. In his inaugural speech, Mr Carroll highlighted funding for Essendon Keilor College as his number one priority:

“My immediate task is the implementation of the Essendon Keilor College master plan.”

(Victorian Parliament, 18 April 2012)

Since his election Mr Carroll has visited the school and spoken with both students and staff about his continuing commitment to see that Essendon Keilor College is given the funding it so desperately deserves.

“I’ve seen firsthand not only the school’s need for funding but its commitment to learning,” Mr Carroll said.

Despite there be no funding in the 2012-13 State budget Mr Carroll has vowed to keep the pressure up for the next 12 months leading towards the 2013-14 budget and said he welcomed the Education Minister’s response last week in Parliament:

“It is a good school and it will certainly be part of our future budget considerations when we are working up to next year’s budget in terms of capital commitments.”

(Martin Dixon, Minister for Education responding to Ben Carroll,
Victorian Parliament, 22 May 2012)  

At the 2010 state election campaign, Labor pledged $10 million dollars towards Essendon Keilor College’s redevelopment and the Baillieu government has refused to honour Labor’s commitment following the election.

The full text of Mr Carroll’s speech can be found here.