Community want answers on Latrobe SDS

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.

“The Latrobe Valley community fought hard to secure a commitment for a new stand-alone Latrobe SDS from the State 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.

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

“Student, teachers and staff are currently subjected to substandard learning and working conditions 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 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.

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

“I am calling on the Labor to allocate the required funds in this year’s May budget,” said Ms Bath.

“They must also commit to retain the school’s special developmental status.

“There has been no word from the Andrews Government on Latrobe SDS since September 2019 when they stated the masterplan options had been developed, the lack of forthcoming detail is causing significant community concern.”

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