Federal budget: $10 million security boost

A $10 million funding boost for security at Jewish schools is included in the federal budget.

JEWISH schools are expected to receive nearly $10 million in the latest round of security funding for educational institutions across Australia.

The Federal Government announced that $18 million over the next three years has been allocated to continue the Schools Security Program.

Of that, $17.1 million will come from the Department of Treasury and $900,000 will come from the Attorney General’s department.

In the last allocation of the Schools Security Program 55 per cent of the money allocated by the Government was awarded to Jewish Schools.

Based on that figure, $9.9 million would be used to secure Jewish schools in Australia.

“The program aims to protect schools and preschools facing a unique risk of attack, harassment or violence stemming from racial or religious intolerance,” according to budget papers.

“This measure extends the 2014-15 Budget measure titled Schools Security Program.”

Justice Stephen Rothman, co-chair of the Australian Council of Jewish Schools, said this is a huge announcement for the community and the schools.

“The Jewish schools are extraordinarily grateful to the federal government for the extension of the secure schools program and particularly to the work by Minister Josh Frydenberg on behalf of schools generally, and Jewish schools in particular,” Rothman said.

“Given the funding of security for the community more generally by the government, the continuing of this program results in new money which I expect will go in large measure to the Jewish schools and will ameliorate the huge burden of our security costs.”

Frydenberg, who is a Mount Scopus graduate and now the Federal Minister for the Environment and Energy, said there is nothing more important than the safety of kids.

“This new and substantial commitment by the Turnbull Government of $18 million to extend the schools security program will provide vital protection for Jewish, and other schools, who need our support.”

The last round of funding, which was due to end this year, was also for $6 million per annum from the Federal Government.

Each school will make an application to the government for funding as part of the program.

JOSHUA LEVI