How the Rich Schools get Richer

Press Release 576

AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS

 

PRESS RELEASE 576#

 

HOW RICH RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS GET RICHER:

 

Scotch College Melbourne is a Presbyterian College.  As a good Bible believing Christian school however, they appear to adhere to the principle of ‘Do what we say, not what we do.’ 

In His Sermon on the Mount Christ said:

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where you treasure is, there will your heart be also…No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.’ ( St. Matthew 6: verses 19-21, 24.)

And when confronted by Pharisees asking about taxation for Caesar Christ said:

Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars and to God the things that are God’s.            ( St. Matthew 22: verse 21)

Scotch College Melbourne this year lodged its 2013 financial return. It showed, among the school's revenue for the year of $70.9 million, a payment for $5.4 million as "reimbursement following a Supreme Court action". The payment helped Scotch record a net surplus of $11.5 million.

What was this Supreme Court action?

The government's road authority in 2008 used its compulsory acquisition powers to take a 2.8-metre-wide and 400-metre-long sliver of land from the Hawthorn boys' school. The land was taken in order to add a lane to CityLink, which runs alongside the school. The strip of land taken for the road widening adjoins three of Scotch's sporting ovals.

In 2008 the Brumby government offered the school $1.06 million for the land, after a valuation by then valuer-general Jack Dunham.It also offered Scotch $86,400 a year as a fee for occupation of other school land it needed during construction.

The school refused the offer, and took the government to the Supreme Court.

 

 

Recently, the Napthine government paid this  elite private school $5.4 million for the thin strip of land, taken for a road-widening project, that was previously valued at just over $1 million by the state's Valuer-General. The payment was made by VicRoads in October last year. Nothing was heard of the case's resolution, until the school this year lodged its 2013 financial return.

Scotch got at least its pound of flesh from the taxpayers because its Old Boys are in positions of influence – and power. Scotch old boy and state Liberal Party elder David Kemp headed a taskforce to ensure the school got what it considered fair compensation for the land. The Age reporter, Clay Lucas did his homework and reported that:

Dr Kemp, the party's state president between 2007 and 2011, said on Sunday there had been "normal legal negotiations" between the school and the government over the land's worth.

And he said the negotiations were entirely undertaken by lawyers. "I had no personal role," said Dr Kemp, who is a Scotch College director.  A spokesman for Roads Minister Terry Mulder confirmed Dr Kemp had not been personally involved in the negotiations.

DOGS agree with The Australian Education Union Victorian President, Meredith Pearce, who noted that the payment indicated there were different rules for private and public schools.

"It is a sad indication of the Napthine government's priorities that they are willing to make a secret $5 million payout to one of Victoria's wealthiest schools for a thin sliver of land, but not willing to be open with other schools about ... extra funding under the Gonski reforms," she  said.

DOGS also suggest that, if Scotch College wants to be taken seriously as an independent Christian and Presbyterian school, they should  remember their Sermon on the Mount, stop their resources arms race, and separating the things of God from those of Caesar, reject State Aid from the Government.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/victorian-government-gives-54-million-to-scotch-college-for-land-previously-valued-at-1-million-20141116-11nr17.html#ixzz3JYjlLmCC

 

 

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