Sydney school accused of stealing millions

Paul Kadak

Parents at one of south-west Sydney's biggest schools could be left out of pocket, after allegations it mismanaged millions of dollars.

The state government has now frozen the funds, but parents are worried they'll be forced to clean up the mess.

At the gates of their children's school, parents demand to know what happened to millions of taxpayer dollars, fearing they will pay the price.

Mother Zahra Elcheikh says it’s not fair for parents, if they do have to pay it back.

"Well I'm not going to pay off somebody else's debt,” Elcheikh said.

With more than 2000 students Malek Fahd is the nation's biggest Islamic school.

Three-quarters of its funding comes from government in 2010 and 2011; that’s a total of $25.3 million dollars from Canberra $8.5 million from the state.

But after revelations the school paid millions of dollars to owner AFIC (the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils), the state government froze its funding and demanded $9 million back.

“The parents are very concerned because there are rumours going around that fees are going to be increased significantly and they understand that's to help repay the money,” says Ahmed Kilani from MuslimVillage.com.

The federal government's still to decide if it will take further action.

The Education Minister Peter Garrett says he would be concerned if school fees were going up and parents had to pay that cost.

The New South Wales Education Department has sent the school an invoice for the $9 million but there’s no sign of the money yet.

The Department says that if it isn't repaid it has other options to recover the debt.

There was no comment from Australian Federation of Islamic Councils today.