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Start building our school

14 Dec 2014

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Education lobby group TwoSchoolsNow has wasted no time in putting the pressure on the newly-elected Labor Government to make good on its promise to deliver South Melbourne Park Primary by 2018.  

The group’s treasurer Martin Lawrence congratulated local MP Martin Foley and Labor on winning the election and said the group was looking forward to working with the new government to ensure education promises were fulfilled.

“Martin Foley is the local member and we know we can work with Martin Foley. He has been very approachable and helpful to us and now our focus is on delivery,” Mr Lawrence said.

“It’s great that we have someone elected who has a crystal clear pledge on getting South Melbourne Park Primary up and running by 2018. We expect that will be delivered and obviously one of our jobs is to hold them to that.”

However, while Mr Lawrence said it was great that the area would receive a school during the next term of the current government, the passing of the election had not resolved the education crisis in the area.

The Labor Government has promised it will review the Liberal’s proposed Ferrars St site and Fishermans Bend as part of its plan.

Mr Lawrence said TwoSchoolsNow would be immediately seeking a meeting with the incoming education minister James Merlino to ensure plans were carried out.

“The demographics of the area are such that we probably need more than just one school, especially if you have a look at the Fishermans Bend development and also just the number of young families with kids.”

“You’re going to need more schools because you’re talking about 50-100,000 people and a town of about 50-100,000 people would have lots and lots of schools.”

Mr Foley said his government would waste no time in making the area’s education needs a top priority.

“We’ll deliver on all of our commitments and the first of those will be the South Melbourne Park Primary School in Albert Rd,” he said.

“It will be delivering a new campus for Albert Park College. It will be releasing the data around what are the projections and current status for the Ferrars St-Fishermans Bend site. It will be building stage one of Elwood College. And it will be finalising the planning arrangements for the proposed Prahran College.”

Mr Lawrence also acknowledged the contributions of Liberal candidate Shannon Eeles and Greens candidate David Collis.

He said he was proud of the hard work undertaken by TwoSchoolsNow and the local community in raising the volume on the issue in lead up to the election.

“It’s been great,” he said. “It’s a small group of very committed people and all I can say is we’d love to have more on board. While the election might be done, the issues are not over.”

“I think one of the things we managed to do at TwoSchoolsNow is do a great job in making sure people are very aware of where both parties stood on education issues in the electorate and that was really our focus.”

“Schools take time to build and plan, so there was a lot of anger about the failure to see this coming.”

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