PM spruiks better deal for WA, Albany

Tayler Neale and Laurie BensonAlbany Advertiser

Malcolm Turnbull fielded a variety of questions on local education issues from Albany Senior High School Year 12 students as the Prime Minister made a whirlwind stop in Albany yesterday.

Students raised concerns about the high relocation costs for regional students considering taking up tertiary studies, along with a disparity in education infrastructure compared with technology improvements.

Mr Turnbull acknowledged the extra costs associated with rural students attending university.

“We’re very keenly aware of it and obviously Rick (Wilson) and other regional MPs who are representing regional Australia are aware of it,” he said. “So it’s something we often focus on and increase support (for) and I’m sure we’ll continue to do so.

“But we’re very aware of the challenges you’ll face.”

Mr Turnbull made no major funding announcements while in town as he was shown around ASHS and given a tour of the National Anzac Centre before attending a civic reception at Centennial Stadium.

With the State Government recently investing $19.5 million in a wave energy farm near Albany, the Prime Minister indicated the Commonwealth had supported wave energy before.

“The Commonwealth has put money into wave technology in the past,” he said

“We have both the clean energy finance corporation which invests in clean energy projects, and we have ARENA for the more innovative end of the spectrum.

“They’ll be making an application to ARENA or Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

“There are plenty of resources in both those places to support projects of that kind.”

Mr Turnbull said ASHS funding per student would double in the coming decade.

“We’ve been to ASHS and what an inspiring group of young people they were,” he said. “The brightest blazers and even brighter minds.

“I’m thrilled to see them and be able to say to them because of the school funding reforms that we’ve recently passed, Western Australia will no longer be getting the raw deal it had under the Labor government.”

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