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Labor commits to Albert Park School

14 Aug 2014

Labor commits to Albert Park School Image

Member for Albert Park Martin Foley and Shadow Education Minister James Merlino have restated their pledge to deliver South Melbourne Park Primary ‘as soon as in government’.

Addressing more than 50 local parents and residents at last month’s education forum in South Melbourne, both ministers said the Albert Drive site remained the most viable option for a new primary school.

Labor’s $11.5 million dollar plan, to be delivered under the first term of a Daniel Andrews government, would provide a prep to year 6 school for 400 pupils by 2018, easing pressure on nearby schools.

The school would also incorporate a strong partnership with nearby Orchestra Australia in creating a strongly-focused music curriculum, modeled on Albert Park College’s relationship with the Australian National Academy of Music.

Answering concerns raised from the floor regarding the risk of the school becoming music selective and drawing students from outside the area, both men indicated that it would not function as a select entry school, but rather as a local primary school with a music model.

The Shadow Education Minister also said Parks Victoria, which currently operates a depot on the proposed site, would be relocated if Labor was elected in November.

“This is a government site, nothing should be insurmountable,” he said. “Labor will do what is needed to convert the site into a school.”

Neither politician gave a firm commitment to honour the Coalition Government’s proposed site at Ferrars St in Southbank, with the Napthine Government allocating $5 million in the last budget for planning and land preparation.

Mr Foley stated that, while the site may still be needed in the future, developer contributions and uncertainty surrounding the Fisherman’s Bend Strategic Plan remained stumbling blocks in establishing a school in the short term.

“The strategic plan for Fisherman’s Bend provided no mandatory height restrictions.”

“We’ve heard concerns from many parents about a vertical school for young children, who want open space for their kids to play and learn.”

No new developments were provided at the meeting on a proposed high school, however both politicians hinted of some “really exciting announcements” to come soon.

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