Free school books for Ovens Valley students under Nationals

Tuesday 16 October 2018

Families with students at government secondary schools will no longer have to pay for school textbooks if The Nationals are elected in November.

Nationals Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy said the commitment would support families struggling with skyrocketing bills and could save families with two students around $1000 a year.

“Families in Ovens Valley are already under a lot of pressure from increases in essential day to day costs like groceries, petrol, electricity and gas prices,” Mr McCurdy said.

“With the added costs at Christmas time a lot families do it a little tougher when the time comes to buy school books for the year ahead. We want to alleviate some of this pressure so that no student is disadvantaged.”

Over the course of secondary school, families stand to benefit up to $2856 per student or on average, around $476 per year. This policy will not be capped on the number of students per family nor is it means tested.

Mr McCurdy said before the last election Daniel Andrews had promised Victorians there would be no new taxes under a Labor government.

“Unfortunately Daniel Andrews has not kept his word and we have seen 12 new or increased taxes since he was elected, with taxes up by 35 per cent under Labor,” he said.

“On top of this, the average household electricity bills are up by over $300 a year because of the government’s sudden closure of Hazelwood. That’s why an elected Nationals Government will help provide some support and relief for families with secondary school children.”

The Free School Books for Students program will provide funding to government schools to purchase school text books for students. The Department of Education will work with schools on implementation processes to ensure value for money and choice.

Students will be expected to maintain the books and return them in good condition at the end of the semester or year. While this policy principally applies to hard copy text books, the department will also work with schools to improve the procurement of texts in digital format.

The Free School Books for Students program will be phased in over two years by year level starting in 2020 with stage one for students in years 7-9 and stage two for students in years 10-12.

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