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Southbank Residents’ Group

13 Feb 2012

The October 2011 Southbank Local News article on local MP Martin Foley’s recent address to the SRG on primary education for Southbank should have had the alarm bells ringing for concerned residents.

It identified the current and future lack of educational planning and the potential compromise of our children’s learning.

I am certain you will agree that education is the most important thing we can give our children to ensure that they are literate, for without a good primary education few opportunities will be available to them in later life.

Primary education is the “key-stone” to their future development and is not to be trifled with or diluted by any government or bureaucrat. Our Government, by law, has decreed that all children aged 6 to 17 must attend a school and to this end the Government is committed to providing education to all.

Incredibly it seems to have slipped their mind when it comes to Southbank. Our glossy Southbank Structure Plan 2010 – a 30-year vision of Southbank hardly gives it a mention. Not good enough.

If you can take notice of the predicted residential population growth to 74,000 by 2040 – currently 11,500 and growing at least 3,000 per year – you would expect our Minister of Education and his army of bureaucrats to have plans in place to provide at least a primary school in the area. Not so.

You are presently required to transport your children to some other “only by motor car” region such as Port Melbourne. Of course our intelligentsia at the Department of Education could have addressed this issue by retaining the Boyd Girls School site instead of disposing of it as excess to their requirements.

I kid you not, they were ready to sell it for private development. We were fortunate that the SRG convinced the City of Melbourne to purchase the site for community use and development – but that’s another story.

It still could have possibilities but I don’t expect the level of lateral thinking needed is forthcoming. We urgently need a primary school in Southbank. Not tomorrow, or next month, or next year, but now.

Our children’s education is not to be trifled with. If the present or past governments can find in excess of $400 million for a sporting stadium so 30-or-so highly-paid sportsmen and their army of workers can indulge in a commercial activity surely they can find $10 or $20 million to build and operate a school for the future development of the children, present and future, at Southbank.

We are sick to death with surveys, consultations, focus groups and the other entire wasteful obstructionist delaying tactics and I challenge the Minister of Education to instruct his army of bureaucrats and their helpers to take immediate steps to provide us with a school. No excuses. No “spin doctoring”.  Just doing your job.

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Comments

  • colin g at 6:59pm on 06/03/12

    Southbank needs a hairdresser, dentist and a doctor, also a supermarket that is reasonably priced as opposed to what we have now .

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