shadow

THE HON MICHAEL DANBY MP
SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR THE ARTS
MEMBER FOR MELBOURNE PORTS

Michael Danby today welcomed the Government’s announcement that it has provided $1,364,725 to schools in Melbourne Ports under the Schools Security Programme.

The Secure Schools Programme was a Labor Government initiative, begun in 2007.

Mr Danby said, “I’m pleased the program is continuing. This program was designed precisely to prevent the kind of murderous terrorist attacks we have seen most tragically in the Jewish school in Toulouse, France a few years ago. At the last election, Labor pledged that secure schools funding could be used for security guards, and the Liberals responded by matching our offer. The Abbott Government announced implementation of this policy yesterday. While we have had to wait 18 months, it’s good to see that money can finally be used for paying the recurrent costs of security guards”.

The Secure Schools Programme funding has been awarded to the following schools:

Adass Israel School $400,000
Leibler Yavneh College—Caulfield Campus $62,029
Mount Scopus Memorial College—St Kilda East Campus  $110,486
Sholem Aleichem College $262,700
Yeshiva–Beth Rivkah Colleges $106,300
Yesodei HaTorah College—Elwood Campus  $423,210

It has taken 18 months for the Abbott Government to finally deliver on a bipartisan 2013 election commitment to keep our kids safe.

Back in 2007, the Labor Government introduced the Secure Schools Program. This gave money for schools at risk of terrorist or hate-crime attacks to build infrastructure to protect themselves. The Labor Government provided $35 million of investment.

In 2013, Labor committed to expand the program to provide funding for security guards. This was welcome news, as parents of children at schools that require guards—like so many of the parents in my electorate—have long had to foot the bill to keep their kids safe.

The Liberal Party matched this policy, and duly provided the $18 million to be spent over the following three years. But then it sat on its hands for 18 months—despite urgent and constant requests from schools for security guard funding—only today announcing the policy in such a way people might imagine it’s new.

I welcome the announcement today that 54 of our most at-risk schools will finally get the urgent funding they were promised 18 months ago by Tony Abbott.