Old news from Armidale and New England

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Drummond / Davies spat, part 2

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Wednesday 28 October 1931, The Sydney Morning Herald

STATE SCHOOLS.
Minister Replies to Mr. Drummond.

The Minister for Education (Mr. Davies), replying yesterday to a statement by the former Minister for Education (Mr. Drummond), said that he had made no “lament” concerning lack of school accommodation and funds to provide it. As far as funds would permit, urgent building requirements had been met.

“During the period of Mr. Drummond’s administration,” said Mr. Davies, “expenditure on buildings totalled £2,021,236. That amount included £1,561,753 from loans, £148,452 public works funds, £236,980 from consolidated revenue, £59,787 unemployment relief funds, the last-mentioned amount being made up of £6172 Federal grant, £48,406 revenue allocation, and £5209 from direct unemployment relief taxation.

“Notwithstanding the large expenditure made by Mr. Drummond out of loan money, he made no provision for the repayment of any portion of it. Personally, I am of the opinion that the time has arrived when the building of schools out of loan money should cease, more particularly when it is frittered away in the reckless manner adopted by the previous Minister for Education. Take, for example, the Armidale Teachers’ Training College, which cost the taxpayers £98,290. The original contract price was £81,200. Extras to the extent of 25 per cent of the contract price were incurred, which were subsequently reduced to £17,000 by deductions. Half of that huge expenditure of money was absolutely wasted, as the college building is half empty at the present time, and a smaller number of students will be admitted there next year. As a matter of fact, it could be easily closed, without having any detrimental effect upon the educational system. That is the sort of administration which Mr. Drummond apparently thinks entitles him to the grateful appreciation of the taxpayer.”

Written by macalba

May 10, 2010 at 8:04 pm

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