Ms Hanson, leader and Queensland Senate candidate for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation said, “In light of the announcement from the Federal Minister for Education Simon Birmingham that Sydney’s largest Muslim school is facing closure after the Federal Government revoked $19 million in annual funding is disturbing to say the least”.
The school is one of six Malek Fahd Islamic schools from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide under review due to financial mismanagement and governance failures.
Ms Hanson said, “Information she received stated, since January 2005 till December 2014 approximately $163 million has been paid in federal government grants. Also adding salt to the wounds for Australian Taxpayers is a further $16 million was handed over in GST that should not have been given, because the schools are a religious organisation and registered as a charity and are not obliged to pay GST.
AFIC, Australian Federation of Islamic Councils buys the land to build the schools and then charges the school rent. Rent was charged by AFIC to MFIS, 5 years in advance so more land could be bought to build more schools.
Simon Birmingham said, “The review does look very closely at the governance structures of the school, whether the school board or at least the board of the approval authority to receive funds is independent from any other entity, and there are concern about that. It equally has a very close look at matters in relation to how the funds are used and whether those funds are used exclusively for the school and again, there are concerns that exist in those areas”.
Ms Hanson said, “Mr Birmingham’s comments are directed at the board of directors of the MFIS as being the same as those on the AFIC board of directors”.
Apart from federal grants the schools receive state grants. The NSW state government is now calling for $9 million to be paid back.
Ms Hanson is now calling on the Premier of Queensland Anastasia Palaszczuk to take action against MFIS in Brisbane. “If the organisation has been found to have one rotten apple in the barrel, I am sure the rest would more than likely be contaminated”.
Ms Hanson said, “Queenslanders are struggling for decent health and dental care, and our every day run of the mill Aussie public schools are crying out in need of funding. This cannot be swept under the carpet and ignored because of being called racist as is the case in NSW”.
“Miss Palaszczuk was the first to offer homes, jobs and assistance to Syrian refugees at a cost to Queenslanders. The state is in debt for Billions of dollars. Has she the leadership ability to call for accountability or is she in fear of upsetting a small seemingly protected minority,” Ms Hanson said.