Shadow Assistant Minister for Education and Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath has welcomed the presentation to parliament of a petition calling for government funding to build a new Wonthaggi Secondary College.
“School infrastructure should enable rather than hinder student learning,” Ms Bath said.
Ms Bath and Member for Bass Brian Paynter, along with Shadow Minister for Education Tim Smith, joined a strong community delegation of Wonthaggi Secondary College principal Darren Parker, school council president Geoff Robertson, the Mayor of Bass Coast Shire Council Pamela Rothfield, secretary of the Wonthaggi Business and Tourism Association Terry Earl and former college students on the steps of parliament yesterday.
They are encouraged by the wide support from across the Wonthaggi community for the push to secure funding for a long overdue major redevelopment of the college and creation of a new education precinct.
“It’s clearly significant that a community of around 10,000 people has obtained almost 3,000 signatures on a petition,” Ms Bath continued.
“It was really disappointing to see no major funding for the school when the 2017/18 budget was handed down, with Treasurer Tim Pallas cynically hand balling the blame to the Education Department.”
“I’m renewing my call that funds must be allocated by the Andrews Labor Government for Wonthaggi Secondary College in the 2018/19 budget.”
“This is a lot of signatures from a small community. I have visited this college and seen the outdated facilities for myself.”
“The culture at the school is really strong – a credit to the community. Good teachers and school culture are both vitally important to student outcomes; however the current college is overcrowded, antiquated and not fit for purpose for 21st century standards.”
“The call from community members here today that “Bass Coast students deserve better” is something I fully endorse.”
“The Andrews Labor Government must act to support this community.”
Ms Bath also raised the importance of this issue to the Bass Coast community in parliament last night.