Petition launched for special school funding

Nationals’ MPs Melina Bath and Tim Bull have helped launch a petition calling on the State government to allocate funding in the 2018/19 budget for long overdue upgrades to the Latrobe Special Developmental School.

The school caters for moderately to severely intellectually disabled children. They range between the ages of five and 18 years old.

Ms Bath, Member for Eastern Victoria and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Country Schools, has also highlighted the plight of the school in parliament recently.

“There are a number of students there who are wheelchair bound. It is sad to say that the best way to describe this school is as a conglomerate of shoebox-style portable classrooms with cramped corridors and spaces and poky bathrooms which are certainly a challenge for staff who have to support students in their bathroom and toiletry activities,” Ms Bath said in parliament.

Ms Bath and Mr Bull also visited the school in Traralgon today and met with representatives of the school council.

“This is a school for some of our most vulnerable children. For 75 families, this is their school, and they feel neglected. It’s long overdue an upgrade to make it fit-for-purpose. This is a very important school for the Latrobe Valley.”

Mr Bull, Member for Gippsland East and Shadow Minister for Disability said the petition would enable anyone across the region concerned about the school’s inadequate facilities to record their concern and support.

“I was on the East Gippsland special school council for many years, so I know the importance of quality educational facilities for our students with special needs,” Mr Bull said.

“An upgrade to the facilities here in Latrobe is long overdue.”

Copies of petitions can be obtained from either the school or Melina Bath MP electorate office located at 181 Franklin Street, Traralgon or from my website.