My adjournment matter tonight is for the Minister for Education. It is in relation to an election commitment made to the Apollo Bay community, specifically to the Apollo Bay P-12 College. The minister would be aware that it was almost three years ago that the member for Polwarth in the Assembly, Terry Mulder, was given the go-ahead by the then coalition opposition to make an election commitment to fund the redevelopment of Apollo Bay P-12 College. There had been controversy about that college for some years, and both major parties stumped up election commitments for the redevelopment. However, the coalition initially offered only $7 million; the Brumby Labor government committed to a more realistic figure of $10 million for the project. Getting closer to the election, Mr Mulder appropriately upped the coalition’s promise to $10 million.
As the funding amounts were then the same, Mr Mulder asserted that the only difference between the two commitments was that a coalition government would start work on the Apollo Bay P-12 redevelopment in 2012 or 2013. At the time the Colac Herald directly quoted Mr Mulder as saying, ‘I will start at Apollo Bay in 2012 to 2013’. It does not get much clearer than that.
It is well known by the students, teachers and community of Apollo Bay P-12 College that the coalition government did not fund the redevelopment in 2012. This leaves the 2013 budget for the Baillieu government to come good on Mr Mulder’s promise.
The principal of Apollo Bay P-12 College, Graeme Holmes, was recently reported by the Colac Herald as stating that the school community is looking forward to learning if the long-awaited school upgrade will go ahead.
Mr Holmes also stated that although the school had a maintenance list, he would prefer it if the government delivered on its promise to fund new school buildings. He is quoted as saying:
“We’ll want the money spent on a new school rather than spending it on maintenance on the dilapidated old building.”
I urge the minister to fulfil the election commitment made by the member for Polwarth, Terry Mulder, and commit the promised $10 million for the Apollo Bay P-12 College redevelopment in the 2013 state budget.