Building the Education Revolution
(BER) is an Australian government
The Commonwealth of Australia is a federal constitutional monarchy under a parliamentary democracy. The Commonwealth of Australia was formed in 1901 as a result of an agreement among six self-governing British colonies, which became the six states...
program administered by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) designed to provide new and refurbished infrastructure to all eligible Australian schools. The program was part of the Rudd government
The Rudd Government refers to the federal Executive Government of Australia of the Australian Labor Party from 2007 to 2010, led by Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister. The Rudd Government commenced on 3 December 2007, when Rudd was sworn in along with his ministry...
's economic stimulus package designed to deal with the 2007–2010 global financial crisis.
The program, totalling A$16.2 billion has three elements:
- Primary Schools for the 21st Century ($14.2b): providing new and refurbished halls, libraries and classrooms
- Science and Language Centres for 21st Century Secondary Schools ($821.8m): providing new and refurbished science laboratories and language learning centres
- National School Pride program ($1.28b): providing new and refurbished covered outdoor learning areas (COLAs), shade structures, sporting facilities and other environmental programs.
The program has attracted attention from critics of the government for alleged "rorting" (misappropriation of public funds) and for not delivering value-for-money outcomes. Many instances of inflated quotes or new buildings that were not particularly useful to the school were reported. The Leader of the Opposition
The Leader of the Opposition is a title traditionally held by the leader of the largest party not in government in a Westminster System of parliamentary government...
Anthony John "Tony" Abbott is the Leader of the Opposition in the Australian House of Representatives and federal leader of the centre-right Liberal Party of Australia. Abbott has represented the seat of Warringah since the 1994 by-election...
called for a judicial inquiry into the BER and the Home Insulation Program
The Energy Efficient Homes Package was an Australian government program implemented by the Rudd Government and was administered by the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts...
, described by the opposition Liberal Party
The Liberal Party of Australia is an Australian political party.Founded a year after the 1943 federal election to replace the United Australia Party, the centre-right Liberal Party typically competes with the centre-left Australian Labor Party for political office...
as "failed programs" and a "waste of public money".
In April 2010, the government announced the formation of the BER Implementation Taskforce "to ensure projects are providing value for money". Gillard defended the BER saying that it was "already one of the most heavily scrutinised programs in the nation's history" and that the program was the "centerpiece" of a economic stimulus package that helped to "ensure that a generation of Australians weren't consigned to months or years of joblessness.".
After the 2010 election 'BER
' moved under the portfolio of Senator Chris Evans
Christopher Vaughan Evans is an Australian politician and a member of the Australian Senate for the state of Western Australia, representing the Australian Labor Party.-Early life:...
The Taskforce, headed by Brad Orgill, former chairman and chief executive of UBS Australasia, delivered its report to Senator Evans on 15 December 2010. The report found that most of BER projects had been successfully delivered, with only 3% of the schools involved in the program making complaints. Projects in NSW received the most complaints. The third and final report by Brad Orgill found that BER projects in NSW, QLD and VIC overpaid for buildings by more than 25% on average compared to Catholic schools and more than 55% compared to Independent schools.
Economist Joseph Stiglitz commented in August 2010 that the government's stimulus package, including the BER, was well-designed by world standards and that some waste was inevitable.
- Digital Education Revolution
The Digital Education Revolution is an Australian Government funded educational reform program that was promised by Former Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd during the launch of his 2007 Australian federal election campaign in Brisbane...
- Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations