The true reason for the BER. $16 billion. For this.
The Daily Telegraph carries this story today. Just disgusting, how could you treat other people's money like this?
Schools used as election PR fodder
- GEMMA JONES
- The Daily Telegraph
- January 24, 2013 12:00AM
Schools have been told to invite federal Employment Minister Bill Shorten to speak. Source: News Limited
SCHOOLS with recently finished BER buildings will be required to hold election year "recognition ceremonies" at which they are to praise the government and invite federal Employment Minister Bill Shorten to speak.
An online kit sent to schools advises teachers they are to make "provision in the official proceedings for the minister or his representative to speak" at ceremonies which are not to be planned for parliamentary sitting days.
Students can only be asked to speak "where possible and where time permits".
Schools are directed to "acknowledge the government's assistance in all speeches and publicity issued by the school such as newsletters, websites or local media articles".
Staff are also told they are to "record the day through photographs or video footage" and publish the material on the school website and to provide parking for guests, with a government plaque to be fixed to the building.
Ceremonies have taken place for several years based on the same guidelines. The government has been criticised for continuing them in an election year, with opposition education spokesman Christopher Pyne accusing the government of politicising schools years after the BER program was announced.
The ceremonies could take place at more than 1000 schools, with about 13 per cent still to host the recognition events the Department of Education says are "required."
"The bizarre aspect is it is years after this program was rolled out and they are still trying to milk it for political gain cynically in an election year," Mr Pyne said.
A spokesman for Mr Shorten said it was common practice for schools to go beyond the guidelines and invite their local MP, including Mr Pyne.
"There is nothing preventing them from attending, in the guidelines or anywhere else," he said.
"Minister Shorten encourages local MPs to attend BER openings whatever their political party, these occasions are great for kids and teachers."
Schools must host the ceremonies within three months of their new BER buildings being completed with a Department of Education spokeswoman saying more than 87 per cent of schools had held their events already.