Prahran parents have called on Education Minister James Merlino to secure a site for their new high school and give families much-needed certainty.
MAY 11, 2015
While celebrations were in order after the State Government confirmed its commitment to the project with an initial $4.75 million in last week’s budget, parents want to know when and where the school will be built.
Mr Merlino’s spokesman David McNamara said the money would be spent on planning, which might take more than a year, deflating parents’ hopes of an impending deal with the Victorian School for the Deaf on St Kilda Rd.
Prahran state Greens MP Sam Hibbins delivered a letter to Mr Merlino on Friday signed by the principals and school council presidents of four Prahran primary schools.
“We write to urge the Victorian Government to commit to the new state secondary school in Prahran and secure the Deaf School site for the new school,” the letter says.
“ The lack of local secondary education further disadvantages the community and degrades Victoria’s reputation as ‘the education state’.”
Stonnington Mayor Melina Sehr said families were frustrated by the uncertainty. “People have to plan their children’s education and where their children will go to school,” Cr Sehr said.
The former Coalition government allocated $1 million for planning in 2014-15, with $20 million to be spent by mid-2019. Its forward estimates didn’t specify how much would be spent in 2015-16.
It identified the Victorian School for the Deaf as its preferred location but went to the polls in November without reaching a deal to buy or share the site.
Mr Merlino declined to comment, but Mr McNamara said in a statement: “The development of Prahran High School is a matter of key importance for the local community.”
He said the Department of Education was continuing negotiations with Deaf Children Australia on the St Kilda Rd site.