My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Education, and it is in relation to Belmont Primary School and the opportunity for its grounds to be extended. Belmont primary is currently at full capacity and has a long waiting list. The school has wonderful facilities, but it lacks outdoor space for children to play in. Currently a residential block which abuts Belmont Primary School at 44 Regent Street is on the market. Adding this block to the primary school would square up the schoolground and provide a much-needed playing space for the school. As the existing small playing space is used on a limited basis during the holidays and on weekends, extending the school’s outdoor grounds could also be an opportunity to potentially develop a community facility with the involvement of the City of Greater Geelong.
Belmont Primary School is an excellent school, and it is vital that the grounds be developed commensurate with this standard so that the children can run around, play ball, kick the footy and play cricket, particularly in these times of concern about childhood obesity. The overwhelming response from the local community has been strong and positive.
Within hours of the ‘For sale’ sign going up on the property there was a petition circulated, and 150 signatures were received within the first 24 hours calling for a larger play space for the school. With 44 Regent Street being on the market, it provides a rare opportunity that must be seized immediately.
I therefore ask the minister to seriously consider the option of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development purchasing this land to create the much-needed extra recreational area for Belmont Primary School.