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What the Papers Say

Cash for college brings tears

For many regional education campaigners, last Tuesday began as a day like any other.

Advocate Raelene Hall had left her house to let the chooks out, went back inside, opened Facebook and could not believe what she was looking at.

It was news that the Federal Government would hand Moora Residential College $8.7 million to remain open, funding which Ms Hall, along with countrymen and women around WA, had been fighting to secure since December.

She said as Moora College's last year began to wind down, she and other campaigners were starting to feel very down.

Then, seemingly out of nowhere, luck struck.

"Everyone's been in tears," Ms Hall told the Midwest Times after the story broke.

"I just can't believe it; we had no inkling that this would happen.

"We might just be little country folk...but when we put our minds to it, we can do anything.

"It really proves the power of the people."

Speaking shortly after the Federal Government announcement, Mark McGowan conceded that as it was late in the school year, many parents might already have made alternative arrangements for their children.

He said the Education Department would work with all families affected to resolve outstanding issues.

In response to a question about meeting with Moora residents, the Premier said he tried calling Shire president Ken Seymour, but he did not answer.

Mr Seymour, who returned the Midwest Times request for comment, said he was absolutely delighted at the news.

"It's been a long, hard and difficult slog but our campaign has finally paid off," he said.

"When people look to move somewhere, they look at education and medical.

"For country towns like Moora attempting to attract people, that's what's important."

Federal Member for Durack and Environment Minister Melissa Price was also pleased by the news from Canberra.

"I have been pushing very hard for the college to remain open and am thrilled the Federal Government has stepped up and saved this extremely important facility," she said.

"This is some of the best news for my electorate and I am very proud my support and lobbying for this outcome has been realised."

A protest against other State decisions on regional education was expected to occur at Parliament House yesterday.

- Source Midwest Times

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