My adjournment matter this evening is in relation to the Bannockburn K-12 school in the Golden Plains shire. The construction of the new early years to year 12 school in Bannockburn, along with the natural gas connection to the township, is the Golden Plains Shire’s highest priority project. It is widely known that the shire was particularly disappointed to see that the Bannockburn K-12 school project was ignored in the 2012-13 state budget and that the promise for natural gas connection has still not been delivered on as we stand here today.
The Golden Plains Miner ran a piece in its 17 May edition which said:
“… most of the community leaders are dumbfounded and reluctant to speak because they say ‘What can we do?’.”
I recently received correspondence from a resident living in Bannockburn who was particularly confused by the Baillieu government’s approach of encouraging Victorians to choose a rural lifestyle and then failing to fund important infrastructure projects like the Bannockburn K-12 school. My constituent said:
“… the Victorian government are hell bent on pushing people into rural communities and calling it ‘Good Move’; well, it would be a good move if communities such as Bannockburn and other surrounding communities had access to passenger rail transport … natural gas … K-12 education facility … (as the current primary school is adding additional portable classrooms just to keep up with demand).”
The constituent goes on to say that he has written many emails to the Premier and to his lower house member of Parliament, Terry Mulder, but has not even received acknowledgements of the emails he has sent.
Members in the house this evening may be aware that Bannockburn is one of the fastest growing townships in one of the fastest growing municipalities in the state. In my time as an MP the Golden Plains Shire Council has been particularly impressive in the way it has lobbied on behalf of its constituents and worked with state and federal governments to provide for growth in the municipality. Whilst the hard work from the Golden Plains Shire Council has not slowed, it seems that support from the state government has ground to a halt. I urge the Minister for Education to make a commitment to the Golden Plains shire and to the community of Bannockburn and indicate when the money will be available to make sure that a K-12 school is delivered to that community as soon as possible.