MP Pat Conaghan stumped by thought of school funding going begging

Local Federal MP Pat Conaghan. Photo by Ruby Pascoe
Local Federal MP Pat Conaghan. Photo by Ruby Pascoe

MORE than a month after inviting all 93 schools in the local electorate to apply for new school funding, only five have completed funding applications and a further 12 have started the application process.

"I can't understand it," Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan MP said. "I thought every school would be putting their hand up for more money.

"We have $200,000 under the Local Schools Community Fund to distribute in the Cowper electorate and 76 of the local schools have not even clicked on the link to start applying.

"I would hate to return the money to Canberra to give to schools in another electorate and there are only three weeks left before funding closes," he said.

The Coalition Government's Local Schools Community Fund offers grants between $1000 and $20,000 for a variety of school projects.

Grants can be spent on projects which benefit the school community, such as small-scale extensions or classroom refurbishments, new computer facilities, mental health and counselling services, playground equipment, library resources, or sports facilities.

"Every school in the electorate has received two emails, most addressed directly to the principal's email address, and yet only three schools in Coffs Harbour and four schools in Port Macquarie have started applying," Mr Conaghan said.

Funding is open to government, Catholic and independent schools and the Cowper electorate allocation of $200,000 will be decided by a local advisory committee including senior executives from all these education sectors.

"Please ask your school if they need help applying, so they don't miss out," Mr Conaghan said.

Applications are through SchoolsHUB - Schools may submit one application for up to $20,000 funding for each of their campuses. Applications close on September 30 and projects must be completed by the end of 2020.

This story Local schools slow off the mark for share of cash first appeared on The Macleay Argus.