Bath seek answers on Latrobe SDS for community

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath has called on Labor to provide details on the new Latrobe Special Development School (SDS) in State Parliament.

Supporting families and students, Ms Bath has advocated for a new purpose-built school for many years.

Ms Bath said the Latrobe Valley community fought hard to secure a commitment for a new stand-alone Latrobe SDS on a greenfield site from the Andrews Labor Government.

“There is significant public interest in the school’s future and the community is passionate about ensuring children with moderate to severe disabilities are provided a safe and supported learning environment”, said Ms Bath.

“The antiquated school on Hickox Street was not built for students with disabilities and it has reached capacity for many years.

“Student, teachers and staff are currently subjected to a substandard learning and working environment and ‘making do’ for years to come is unacceptable.”

Ms Bath first raised the dilapidated state of Latrobe SDS when she came to State Parliament in 2015.

A petition with 3000 signatures was tabled in 2018 by Ms Bath about the unacceptable conditions of the classrooms, of which 80 per cent exhibited asbestos warnings.

Ms Bath said after so many years the community should being seeing construction and planning milestones, but for months now there has been nothing forthcoming.

“Two years ago, the state government budget announced $6 million dollars towards the project co-funded with Traralgon Secondary College, however, there has been very little progress since,” said Ms Bath.

“Daniel Andrews must provide the community with a planning and construction timeline for the new stand-alone school.

“I am calling on the Andrews Government to allocate the required funds in this year’s May budget.

“There has been no word from the Andrews Government on Latrobe SDS since September 2019, and the lack of any proper details is causing significant community concern.”