My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Education, Martin Dixon, and it is in relation to the Bannockburn early years to year 12 school. For more than two years now the Golden Plains shire and the community of Bannockburn have been waiting for what was promised to them by the Baillieu and Napthine governments: a new secondary school and natural gas connection to the township. So far the community has been let down by this government on both fronts.
In a letter to the editor published in the Ballarat Courier of 28 February this year one resident, Leah Phillips, described the feelings of the Bannockburn community, stating:
“For many years now the residents of the Golden Plains shire have been constantly promised that there would be a new school built in Bannockburn …
In the budget of May 2012 the hopes were once again dashed as funding was not allocated to allow this to happen, leaving 533 children who attend the primary school now with no more than half a football field to play on.”
Ms Phillips’s sentiments are an echo of what I have been hearing from this community for over two years now. In mid-2012 the Golden Plains Miner newspaper ran a story with the headline ‘No school, no gas for Bannockburn district’. Nine months on, nothing has changed.
It is a well-known fact that the Golden Plains shire is one of the fastest growing local government areas in Victoria and that Bannockburn is the fastest growing township within that municipality.
One only needs to drive through the town to see how it has exploded over the last five years or so. New homes are being built in what is truly a fantastic place to live and raise a family, but it is incumbent upon the government of the day to provide the necessary infrastructure to accommodate this growth. The community has heard the promises of this government and is saying that it is high time for the government to deliver.
The action I seek tonight is for the minister to fulfil the election commitment made by his government and commit funding in the upcoming May budget to build the Bannockburn early years to year 12 school.