Federal changes to education funding and a one-year extension on kindergarten spend have been met with a frosty reception by Wyndham council and MPs.
Lalor MP Joanne Ryan branded the federal budget, which was handed down last week, as full of “hot air”.
She said school funding cuts and no irrigation funding for Werribee South market gardeners was a huge blow for the electorate.
“There’s no good news for Wyndham,” she said.
“All we got was cuts, cuts and more cuts.”
Werribee MP Tim Pallas said 14 schools in his electorate would be $8 million worse off collectively under the federal government’s new education funding model.
Victorian department of education analysis shows Manor Lakes P-12 College faces a funding cut of up to $1.5 million under the new model, Warringa Park School up to $1.2 million, and Werribee Secondary College up to $1 million.
“Families in Werribee deserve better than a government that hacks away,” Mr Pallas said.
Meanwhile, Wyndham councillor Josh Gilligan expressed his disappointment at the government’s decision to only extend kindergarten funding for another 12 months.
Cr Gilligan called on the federal government – which funds five hours of kindergarten per week – to make an ongoing funding commitment, which would ensure all children had access to 15 hours of pre-school education in the year before beginning school.
On the flip side, Wyndham mayor Henry Barlow applauded the government’s decision to lift its indexation freeze on financial assistance grants from July.
The federal government froze indexation on the grants – which are given to local councils to fund infrastructure and services such as roads, libraries and childcare – for three consecutive years, resulting in an estimated $3.8-$4 million shortfall for Wyndham council.
Liberal Party senator Scott Ryan said Lalor residents would benefit from $1.8 million in road upgrade and maintenance funding, $30 million for planning for the Melbourne Airport Rail Link, and small business tax cuts.