My adjournment matter this evening is directed to the Minister for Education and is in relation to educational facilities in the Golden Plains shire. Statistics taken by the shire indicate that it is one of the fastest growing municipalities in the state. In particular, Bannockburn, which is the largest township in the shire, is growing at a rapid rate.
Over the 10 years between 1996 and 2006 the shire consistently experienced one of the highest levels of population growth of any municipality in rural and regional Victoria. In that 10-year period the population growth was 27.2 per cent, which is twice the population growth experienced in Victoria overall and almost two and a half times that of other rural and regional municipalities, at 11.5 per cent.
In 2009 these trends continued, with Golden Plains shire having the third highest rate of population growth in rural and regional Victoria and the 10th highest of all municipalities in the state.
At present Bannockburn also has the highest percentage population of 0 to 4-year-olds in the state. With these statistics it is easy to see why the shire’s no. 1 priority is the construction of the Bannockburn prep-to-year-9 school. A site for the school has been identified, and the shire is eager to have this land purchased and to begin building the school. The intention of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development was for this project to be funded through the 2010-11 budget. However, prolonged negotiations with the land-holders and the developer meant that it was not able to commence. Given the obvious need for Bannockburn to have a P-9 school in the very near future, I urge the minister to commit to this project in the 2011-12 budget to be delivered in early May.