The Australian federal government has decided not to finance anymore the largest Australian Islamic school, Malek Fahd.
The confirmation came following the school’s request to review the matter after the federal government indicated pulling out a $20 million funding that was so far kept separately for the school. The authorities have withdrawn the funds from the Islamic school that offered education to over 2,400 students. Such an indication came from the government on the account of misuse of the funds by school authorities. According to 9News, the government claimed that the school authorities were not spending the money on educational needs.
Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham said that the government’s decision has been reaffirmed and hence the financing of the Islamic school will be stopped by Friday of this week. “The internal reviewer, who was independent of the original decision, considered the new information provided and based on all the available evidence, the school authority remains non-compliant with the requirements of the Australian Education Act 2013,” he said in a statement.
“Therefore, the internal reviewer has affirmed the original decision and federal funding for Malek Fahd Islamic School Limited will cease from 8 April 2016.”
However, it is believed that the school has enough funds to continue its operation until the end of 2016. The lawyer, Rick Mitry, who presented the case on behalf of the school, said that Malek Fahd was planning to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and also prepared for a higher appeal to the High Court. Mitry criticised the government’s decision to stop financing the school despite the school’s attempt to follow the orders obediently in the past two months.
“We had taken steps to comply with all of the requirements of the Federal Government,” he said as quoted by the ABC. “All of the issues raised by them were addressed by us, including new accounting measures and a new interim board. We’ll immediately make an application to the Federal Administrative Appeals Tribunal and an application for a stay of the orders revoking the funding until the appeal process has been completed.”