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Napthine and Abbott splash out in Frankston – but not on education

Sep 12, 2014News

Premier Denis Napthine chose to access the building via a different entrance and the scheduled attendance by Prime Minister Tony Abbott did not transpire. However, their doppelgangers – the large-headed “Dr Napthine” and “Mr Abbott” puppets – enjoyed a jovial splash together in the toddler pool (see picture).

They were surrounded by a myriad chanting protesters representing educators, nurses, paramedics, firefighters and a lone disgruntled scallop fisherman.

Luke Hilakari, Secretary from Victorian Trades Hall Council, saw the high-profile pool opening as a great opportunity to draw attention to key issues. “We’re here campaigning to make sure that these issues are at the front of people’s minds this coming election,” he said.

“We have 212,000 people unemployed in Victoria, we’ve lost $1.2 funding to TAFE, 342 firefighters are still waiting to get re-employed after the Black Saturday reports, nurses are still waiting for the promised 800 extra hospital beds – all these promises remain undelivered.”

Mount Erin Secondary College teacher Greg Sage came to support the AEU’s Put Education 1st campaign, accompanied by final-year teaching student, Jessica. “Today they’re opening a fantastic new leisure centre here in Frankston,” Greg said. “Wouldn’t it be great to get a similar level of resources in our schools?”

Greg wanted to ask the politicians about where the Gonski funding has gone and was keen to share his experiences of how cuts to VCAL, welfare and integration programs had already negatively impacted on students at his school.

See all the photos here.