INDEPENDENT candidate Jenny O’Connor and Benambra MLA Bill Tilley have traded barbs over funding for schools in Wodonga, Beechworth and Osbornes Flat.
The past Indigo Shire mayor on Wednesday slammed the Liberal MP, accusing him of inaction on education needs.
“Beechworth Secondary College has been desperate for essential upgrades for the past decade and Mr Tilley didn’t act,” Ms O’Connor said.
“It wasn’t until the school community and myself as mayor turned it into a major issue – and Labor acted – that Mr Tilley agreed to match the Labor Party’s $9.4m election promise.
“There are still drop toilets in Osbornes Flat Primary, upgrades needed at Wodonga Middle Years Huon campus, and improved facilities needed at too many of our schools across the electorate.
“Mr Tilley gets an F from me for his disregard for schools across Benambra.
“Our schools need the money, not just promises.”
Mr Tilley rejected Ms O’Connor’s claims.
“What she is saying is simply untrue,” Mr Tilley said.
“Yes we might be in a campaign but they’re nothing less than trying to score cheap points.
“People are telling me they are tired of this sort of behaviour and if Jenny O’Connor is seeking to be a representative for them in the parliament, that’s exactly what people aren’t asking for.”
Mr Tilley said he began costing negotiations for a Beechworth upgrade in September 2017 and there were not long drops at Osbornes Flat, rather a failing septic system and toilet block that had wire added to its base to stop snake infestations.
He said works at those sites and a $5 million new industrial hub/performing arts centre at the Huon campus would be built if his party won government.
Over 2010-14 when the Coalition governed there was $12 million spent on Belvoir Special School, $14 million on Wodonga Senior Secondary and $4.5 million on Wodonga West Primary.
Mr Tilley said by comparison Labor had spent $3.6 million on schools in Benambra over the last four years.