The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath says it has taken years of hard work but today’s state government announcement that Latrobe Special Developmental School (SDS) will be a stand-alone school comes with a huge amount of relief for the school community.
Ms Bath said since coming to parliament in 2015, Latrobe SDS was one of the first community groups she identified as a priority.
“From the moment I stepped foot inside Latrobe SDS it was evident the facilities were totally inadequate, not fit for purpose and required immediate action, said Ms Bath.
“Part of that action included regularly raising the need for a purpose built school in state parliament and petitioning the Education Minister to make our special needs students a government priority.
“The school community has consistently asked for a stand-alone school that meets the complex needs of their students; however it should be remembered that the school community has also asked the Andrews Labor Government to commit to retaining the special developmental status of the school. So far, this has not happened.
“The fact that the government co-funded $6 million, tied with Traralgon College and held joint consultation added to the stress of parents seeking a stand-alone facility.
“The state government simply needed to listen to the compelling argument of the school community without putting them through an arduous and stressful time.
“I sincerely congratulate the parents, staff and school community on their hard work, dedication and persistence in achieving an outcome that will serve generations of special needs students.
“I would like to thank everyone who gave their support and commitment and those who signed the petition to provide clear direction for government to understand.