St james eyes cash injection

THE principal of St James Primary, Yamba, Paul Edgar, says he is not short of ideas of how a potential $50,000 could be spent improving the infrastructure at his school.

As part of the government's latest economic stimulus package, $14.7 billion would be spent over the next two years to construct or upgrade a building in every one of the nation's schools in a move described by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd as the 'biggest school modernisation in history'.

Schools with more that 400 students would receive up to $200,000 for building and maintenance with smaller schools getting up to $50,000.

St James has already benefited in the past from the previous government's handouts to schools which led to two payments of $50,000, used to build a multi-purpose sports court and put interactive whiteboards into two of the classrooms, as well as providing other classes with overhead projectors and computers.

Mr Edgar said that a further cash injection would allow the school to continue providing interactive whiteboards in the rest of the classrooms, something that doesn't come cheap at $7000 each.

He said that depending on where the school was allowed to spend the money, he could see it also going to great use in putting up shade sails in one area in the school where the kids like to play and has no shelter from the sun, or adding to already existing playground equipment installed last year.

Mr Edgar said that ideally he would like the school to have a separate library and computer room, but with the last built classroom costing around $120,000, he doesn't think Mr Rudd would be that generous.

  •  MEANWHILE, the government unleashed a furious attack on the Opposition after it dropped a bombshell and announced it would block the government's $42 billion lifeline.

The Opposition's decision to dig in forced the government to negotiate with the Greens and other crossbench senators to find a way to get the six bills enabling the plan through Parliament.

While negotiations were continuing yesterday, it was likely a Senate inquiry would examine the bills tonight.

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