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Two Schools meet for AGM

11 Jun 2015

Two Schools meet for AGM Image

Members of local education lobby group Two Schools Now met for its annual general meeting (AGM) on Wednesday, May 27 in the wake of May’s state budget announcement.

The meeting was attended by State Member for Albert Park Martin Foley, who provided committee members with an update on local education projects in the Port Phillip and Southbank area.

Mr Foley attended the meeting to reassure residents that all schools promised prior to the election were on track to open as scheduled.

The May 5 state budget provided $1 million for planning for the South Melbourne Park Primary School at the Parks Victoria site on Albert Rd and $5 million for site preparedness for the vertical South Melbourne Primary School at Ferrars St.

Despite the small allocations of funding, Mr Foley said both projects were on track for taking enrolments in 2017 in preparation for 2018 openings and that further funding would be provided in future budgets.

“We had originally planned to do both schools in a sequence one after the other, but that is not a goer,” he said. “They’ll now both be delivered at the same time.”

“If that means the school is built and we do the rest of it at a later time that’s not perfect but, given the time frame of delays since the 2012 original announcement for the Ferrars St site, we simply can’t wait any longer.”

Mr Foley informed the committee that the path had been cleared for South Melbourne Park, after the Government secured a new home for Parks Victoria at the State Bank Pavilion site near Albert Park Driving Range, which is currently home to the St Kilda Table Tennis Club.

He also confirmed that the new Year 9 campus and arts and science hub at the former Circus Oz site for Albert Park College in Port Melbourne would open in January next year.

The future state of education in the Fishermans Bend urban renewal area was also heavily discussed at the meeting, with all members stressing the need for further schools to address the area’s expected population increase over the next decade.

The meeting was adjourned until a later date, at which time the group’s office bearers will be officially confirmed for 2015-16.

The AGM followed another significant education announcement last month, with the Government moving ahead with plans for a new high school in Prahran, which would take in students from Southbank.

Minister for Education James Merlino last month announced that Swinburne University of Technology’s former Prahran Campus is now the focus of planning for the new Prahran Secondary College.

The Government had been in pre-existing negotiations with Deaf Children Australia over the purchase or lease of the organisation’s site on St Kilda Rd, however Mr Merlino said the project wasn’t feasible.

“We’ve found the site would blow out in cost and fail to provide the education that kids in Prahran need,” he said.

“We’re on the front foot and progressing with an alternative site, with planning and feasibility studies already underway at Swinburne University’s Prahran campus.”

$10 million towards Stage 1 delivery of the Elwood College master plan to refurbish and rebuild existing facilities was also included in last month’s state budget.

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