Families with high school students in the Murray Plains electorate will no longer have to pay for school textbooks if The Nationals are elected in November.
The Leader of The Nationals and Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh said the commitment would support families struggling with skyrocketing bills and could save families with two students around $1 000 a year.
“Families are already under a lot of pressure from increases in essential day to day living costs like groceries petrol electricity and gas” Mr Walsh said.
“Unfortunately Daniel Andrews has not kept his word on no new taxes under Labor and we have seen 12 new or increased taxes since he was elected with taxes up by 35 per cent.
“On top of this average household electricity bills have increased by over $300 a year because of the government’s sudden closure of Hazelwood.
“That’s why an elected Nationals Government will help provide support and cost of living relief for families with school children.”
“With the added costs of Christmas a lot of families are doing it tough when the time comes to buy text books for the school year ahead and we want to alleviate some of this pressure so that no student is disadvantaged.
The Free School Books for Students program will provide funding to government schools to purchase textbooks for students.
Students will be required to keep and return the books 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 start in 2020 for students in years 7-9 and 2021 for year 10-12 students.
Families will benefit by around $476 per year or up to $2 856 during a student’s time at secondary school.
The policy will not be means tested or capped on the number of students per family.