Adjournment Speech: South Yarra Primary School

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) — (13 079) My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Education, and I raise it on behalf of the South Yarra Primary School community. The action I seek from the minister is to address both the immediate and the long-term issues faced by overcrowding at South Yarra Primary School.

Enrolments at South Yarra primary are skyrocketing, and the school is bursting at the seams. Whilst there have been new multistorey portables installed, there still is a need for more classrooms. To find room for the extra students, I believe the multipurpose room and the library are having to be used for classrooms. There is a concern from the school community that after-school care services may no longer be available. Several parents have contacted me suggesting that Fawkner Park could be used for portables in the near term to relieve that immediate pressure on the school. Certainly I would urge the minister to get in touch with Melbourne City Council to see if that is feasible.

Whilst South Yarra primary sits on a very small footprint, it does have a capacity to expand vertically. Certainly what is needed is a plan to increase capacity on the existing site and to develop the existing grounds. The school zone also needs to be reduced. There are simply too many enrolments coming from the existing zone for the school to handle. With a new school being built in South Melbourne and existing capacity at Windsor, certainly there is scope to reduce the school boundary.

Finally, there does need to be a long-term approach for school capacity within the Prahran electorate. As more and more families move into the area or choose to raise their families in the area, as I have, we will need more capacity in our primary schools, particularly given that they will now have access to what I believe will be a high-quality public high school, I might add. I call on the minister to make public all the projected enrolments for schools within the Prahran area and work with the school community so we can have the confidence that local students will get the school facilities that we need.