Ms TIERNEY (Western Victoria)– My adjournment matter this evening is for the attention of the Minister for Education and is in relation to the Timboon P-12 School. To say that the Timboon community is disappointed — for the third year in a row — by the Napthine government’s attempt to ignore it is an understatement. As the Cobden Timboon Coast Times puts it, the community has been dealt a devastating blow. Missing out on funding for three years in a row is bad enough, but to have had funding approved to begin stage 1 of the school’s redevelopment and then to lose it when the coalition government was elected is a huge kick in the head to the local community. The previous government approved $6.4 million for stage 1 of the redevelopment project, and prior to the last election the then coalition opposition announced the project as an election promise.
In an article in the Warrnambool Standard in April 2011 the school council president, Gary Langenhuizen, was quoted as having said:
“Our big concern is the new government may delay this a year or two and then claim it as its own project …”
He is also reported to have said:
“We can’t get a commitment, despite several attempts through Terry Mulder … I’m not too impressed.”
This was more than two years ago, so one can only imagine the level of frustration the local Timboon community is feeling in relation to the government on this matter.
Timboon P-12 School also missed out on funding from the coalition’s school maintenance funding program that was distributed just prior to the budget. This is simply inexplicable and shameful. The education department has classed 34 per cent of the school’s buildings as being in poor condition. The school has a total of 31 areas, 22 of which are below the threshold.
The member for Polwarth in the other place, the Minister for Public Transport, himself said the situation was an anomaly, but this is just lip-service to a community which is rightly fed up with being ignored by the member and this government.
It is now known that the government has set aside a funding pot for school redevelopments, although this does not show up in the recent budget. Through word of mouth I understand that the Apollo Bay P-12 College redevelopment project will apparently be a beneficiary of that funding source, so I urge the minister to use funding from this secret source to deliver the $6.4 million needed for stage 1 of the Timboon P-12 School redevelopment immediately, as the government should have done in 2011.