ADJOURNMENT DEBATE ON CHILWELL PRIMARY SCHOOL

My adjournment matter tonight is for the attention of the Minister for Education and concerns the appalling disregard for the concerns of the Chilwell Primary School community in Geelong by the Victorian School Building Authority, the VSBA.

For two years the School Council has patiently attempted to persuade the VSBA of the optimum way to spend $2.4m of taxpayer funds to ensure the school can accommodate its growing student population.

Rather than listening to their well-researched and costed plans, the VSBA arrogantly ignored the School Council and instead remained determined to waste $2.4m on ‘refurbishing’ an asbestos-ridden, not fit-for-purpose, out of date building that will result in smaller sized classrooms and less outdoor play area.

As well as ignoring the school’s proposed alternative, the VSBA has now confirmed they can sign off on any build without recourse to the school.  Such disregard for school communities and taxpayers is outrageous.

Having previously voiced support prior to the November election, the Member for Geelong, Ms Couzens has now abandoned the Chilwell school community and failed to attend a meeting convened by the Council President that others and I attended.

The frustrations and fury of parents and Council members directed to the VSBA and their local MP at the meeting was palpable.

The primary parties consulted in construction works of any school should be its community on behalf of students and not dictatorial  bureaucrats who have no interest in short or long term outcomes.

This entire process at Chilwell should be halted to allow for proper consultation in order to achieve the best outcome for students and a more cost effective use of taxpayer’s money.

I call on the Minister to put a stop to this dictatorial behaviour by this education QANGO.

19 March 2019