Many in this chamber know of the critical role that well-resourced schools, particularly those in smaller communities, play in the general health and wellbeing of a community. Portarlington Primary School is very much the heart, the soul and the future of Portarlington. It has a good number of enrolments, great teachers, a caring and driven principal, committed and engaged parents, and great kids. What it does not have is the $60 000 it needs for the schematic stage. The school has completed the master plan phase, and a high level of work and consultation has already been undertaken.
There was shock and real disappointment in the community when the Baillieu government’s first budget had nothing in it for them, whereas Labor had promised $6 million for the redevelopment of the school.
I take this opportunity to remind the government that the Portarlington community is only too well aware that if the money is not in the next budget, then it brings the project to an indefinite halt. The stepping stones for school funding require an allocation in sequential state budgets. Failure for this to occur will stop the redevelopment.
The school and the community understand the perilous position they have been put in by this government, and I call on the minister to do what is the only proper thing to do — that is, to commit further funding for this terrific school.