The Andrews Labor Government has been forced to support redevelopment of the Latrobe Special Development School following a strong community-driven campaign, The Nationals’ Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath has said.
Ms Bath, also the Shadow Assistant Minister for Education, congratulated the Latrobe Valley community on the strong advocacy for investment in the school.
“This has been a community-driven campaign to create a school environment that is ‘fit-for-purpose’ for some of the Latrobe Valley’s most vulnerable children,” Ms Bath said.
“I have worked with the school community to get the Latrobe Special Developmental School on the Labor government’s agenda.
“It is disappointing that Minister Merlino chose not to engage with the school council and parents until he was compelled to acknowledge the 2700 signature petition tabled in parliament last month.
“The government needs to work with the Principal, School Council and parents to create a fit-for-purpose facility that meets the needs of these wonderful children.”
Only a month ago, parents and students from the Latrobe Valley community attended Parliament to present the petition to Ms Bath.
“At the time, Labor’s Minister for Education James Merlino labelled the petition as a “political stunt” now, only weeks later, the Andrew’s Labor Government has been shamed into supporting our schools,” Ms Bath said.
“Daniel Andrews has ignored the school until the community and parents have successfully applied pressure but there are still many questions on where the school will be built and if it will be co-located with the Traralgon Secondary College.
“Parents need clarity on how this money will be spent and how much will be allocated to each school.
“The government must listen and work with the Principal, parents and School Council.”