My adjournment matter this evening is directed to the Minister for Education, Martin Dixon, and is in relation to Horsham College. Last Tuesday and Wednesday I had several meetings with key stakeholders in the Wimmera, and in particular in Horsham, Stawell, the Pyrenees and other parts of the Southern Grampians. The issue of the Horsham College campus redevelopment kept coming up in discussions, not just in terms of this being a key education project in the region but in respect of economic development in the region.
As we know, many regional towns are seeking new people to join their communities.
The town of Horsham has a skills crisis on its hands in certain areas, but there is a serious prospect for economic growth in the area, particularly with the expansion of the mineral sands project and a number of other initiatives that are taking place. As we know, when families are looking at relocating they look at employment prospects but also schooling in the local area. I would never want to talk down Horsham College; it is an excellent school with fantastic teachers, but they are working in difficult circumstances. There are 1100 students at the campus. It is the largest school in the Wimmera, and it provides a number of specialist programs not just for Horsham but for the region.
Therefore the action I seek this evening is that the minister re-examine the funding of Horsham College. The community was absolutely shocked at not receiving the money it thought was going to receive in the last budget.
I also seek that the local member for Lowan in the other place, the Minister for Sport and Recreation, Hugh Delahunty, stand up in cabinet and ensure that the voices of Horsham are heard and that there will be opportunity for economic growth and serious educational prospects for not only children living in Horsham today but also those who will live there in the future.