Ms TIERNEY (Western Victoria)– My adjournment matter this afternoon is for the Minister for Education and is in relation to the Apollo Bay P-12 College. I have raised this issue on numerous occasions in the house, and to give some of the history I will point to the fact that Labor promised $10 million to redevelop that school. The Liberal Party at the time promised $7 million, but when it realised that Labor had costed the redevelopment at $10 million it quickly revised its promise to $10 million and said that it would also build the school in its first term of government.
In the last budget we saw that $700 000 was committed by the coalition government for planning. As I said at the time, this school has planned and planned for this redevelopment; it has planned itself almost to death.
Then of course in Tuesday’s budget, when the whole Apollo Bay community was expecting the real money to flow so that the school could actually be built, only $252 000 was revealed to be in the budget. I checked the budget papers again and confirmed that only that amount of money had been allocated. The Colac Herald rang the local member, the member for Polwarth in the Assembly, Mr Mulder, who is also the Minister for Public Transport and the Minister for Roads, to ask him where the money was, given the community was absolutely convinced that it was to flow this week, and he said that the money would be flowing from a secret fund the government had set up and that the community would get the money.
Hon. G. K. Rich-Phillips — I’m sure he didn’t say ‘a secret fund’!
Ms TIERNEY– Read the Colac Herald. That is exactly what Minister Mulder said.
I want to know where this money is, how schools will be selected and what the criteria are, because the Apollo Bay community is totally in the dark, as are the other communities that missed out on getting money for their schools, like Timboon, Bannockburn and Horsham.
The action I seek is that the minister confirm that the promised $10 million will be spent on the redevelopment. If the $6.7 million that the member for Polwarth has mentioned does manifest itself, the total spend by the government will only be $7 million — $3 million short of what the member for Polwarth promised to the community in 2010. There is a lot of work for the government to do and a lot of clarification needed. Trust has been broken, and that needs to be worked on with this community. The community has had enough, and the government really needs to step up, not hide behind a secret fund that it claims will finance school redevelopments that were not listed in this year’s budget.