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Rip-off claim denied
Rip-off claim denied

Premier Colin Barnett has denied claims he attempted to gouge the Federal Government for the education of asylum seekers in remote WA.

Mr Barnett, who visited both the Leonora Detention Centre and the Leonora District High School yesterday, told the Kalgoorlie Miner suggestions he was attempting to “rip off” the Commonwealth were offensive.

“I find that insulting and I think the school and the Education Department would find that insulting too,” Mr Barnett said.

“We have done everything we can as a West Australian Government and as a West Australian Education Department to provide as much as we can in terms of education support and specialist English teaching to these young children, the families and the kids.”

The Premier asked the Commonwealth for $1.8 million to educate 30 children at the Leonora school, it was reported yesterday.

Mr Barnett said it was Leonora’s isolation, coupled with the need for specialised programs, that drove costs up.