My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Education, and it is in relation to the minister’s response to an adjournment matter I raised regarding the Torquay secondary school. As I have stated on a number of occasions in this place, in the lead-up to last year’s state election the coalition promised Torquay families a fully fledged, brand-new secondary college in Torquay by term 1, 2013.
In an adjournment matter I raised on 13 October this year I requested that the minister give an absolute commitment to the people of Torquay that the coalition will honour its election commitment to Torquay families. I have since received from the minister a response to my adjournment matter which in part states:
“… should the new secondary college facilities not be open for the beginning of the 2013 school year, the department will ensure alternative arrangements are made for students to continue their studies in Torquay.”
It was reported in the Geelong Advertiser of 24 November this year that the government has conceded that the new secondary college will not be ready for the start of the 2013 school year as originally promised but has said that students will be accommodated on the school grounds until the facilities are complete. However, the minister has released no detail on what these alternative arrangements will include. After a full year of uncertainty about their educational future, Torquay students now face extra uncertainty about whether they will be required to complete their senior secondary years in a second-rate portable classroom situation. Time and again the minister has been asked to let the community know what is going on with this issue, but the minister’s responses simply cause more uncertainty.
The action I seek this evening is for the minister to inform me and the Torquay families of what the alternative arrangements will mean for Torquay secondary students and whether these arrangements will include second-rate facilities, such as portable classrooms, on the site of the Torquay P-9 college.