Twenty-two public schools in the Clarence and Richmond valleys have lost $300,000 in disabilities funding because of cuts by the NSW Labor Government, according to Clarence Nationals MP Steve Cansdell.

“The NSW Coalition successfully obtained Freedom of Information data which revealed the Rees Government’s intention to slash disabilities funding for students by taking back almost $12 million in unspent funds from schools under the Funding Support (Students with Disabilities) program,” Mr Cansdell said.

The Nationals MP raised the issue in the NSW Parliament last night.

“Ripping off disabled kids is a new low, even for this appalling Labor Government,” he said.

Mr Cansdell provided a list of local schools losing funding, with the worst-affected being Casino High School (down $67,000) and South Grafton High (down $35,000):

School Funds Lost: Casino High School $67,009.16; Leeville Public School $2,089.63; Casino Public School $884.42; Maclean High School $925.00; Casino West Public School $5,889.26; Palmers Island Public School $976.00; Chatsworth Island Public School $14,051.00; South Grafton High School $36,442.00; Corindi Public School $4,725.00; South Grafton Public School $12,450.00 Coutts Crossing Public School $6,530.00 Tabulam Public School $33,966.18 Evans High School $15,062.00 Ulmarra Public School $1,000.00; Evans River Community School $21,423.72; Woodford Dale Public School $524.00; Gillwinga Public School $8,193.00; Wooli Public School $9,100.00; Grafton High School $9,760.00; Yamba Public School $26,364.00; Grafton Public School $20,900.00; Maclean High School $925.00; Iluka Public School $3,530.00; Palmers Island Public School $976.00.

“At a time when Nathan Rees is spending $50 a day for tea and bikkies from David Jones and hundreds of thousands of dollars on parking spaces his staff don’t need, this is cost cutting at its very worst,” Mr Cansdell said.