Growth area schools ‘miss out’, says Opposition

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Cardinia Shire-based schools have “missed out” on State Budget funding, according to the shadow education spokesman.

Despite being one of the fastest growing growth corridors in Australia, the budget has “failed to build vital new schools in this region”, Shadow Education Minister Nick Wakeling said.

“Daniel Andrews’ budget shows that he doesn’t care about education in Victoria’s growth areas,” he said.

“The only new school funded in the growth corridor is Gum Scrub Creek Primary School. There has been no land purchased for new schools in Cardinia Shire.

“Casey-Cardinia residents would be bitterly disappointed with Daniel Andrews’ education budget.”

Bass MP Brian Paynter said Kooweerup and Pakenham secondary colleges needed funding to keep up with the increasing growth in students moving into the area.

There are 417 births in the region per quarter, up 15 per cent from last year and five new families move into the municipality each day.

Education Minister James Merlino said “the facts speak for themselves when it comes to education funding”.

He said the budget would deliver “millions of dollars” for education in the Casey-Cardinia regions.

These include facility upgrades at Cranbourne Secondary, Hallam Senior Secondary College, Hampton Park Primary, Kambrya College, Fountain Gate Secondary and Chisholm Institute Berwick across the Casey area.

“The previous Coalition government failed to invest in new schools in their term of government, that is why no new government schools opened in Victoria this year, let alone in Casey and Cardinia,” Mr Merlino said.

“Labor is delivering for Casey and Cardinia schools in spades in the 2016/17 Budget, including buying land for a new primary school at Casey Fields, and building a new primary school at Gum Scrub Creek.”

He said the State Budget would also allocate $10 million in infrastructure grants to build kindergartens and children’s centres in growth areas and $50 million of the Shared Facilities Fund to build community-use facilities on school sites across the state, including Casey and Cardinia.

Originally published at Pakenham Gazette.


About Alana Mitchelson

Alana Mitchelson is a journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Follow her on Twitter at @AlanaMitchelson.

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