Beverley McArthur MP

Member for Western Victoria Region

Media Statement


Arrogance on steroids on display at Chilwell Primary School by Local MP


It beggars belief that a government and a local MP (Christine Couzens) so punch drunk with power that they could blatantly disregard the numerous polite protestations, let alone the interests of students to hastily announce the tender for a $2.4m ‘refurbishment’ spend that no local Chilwell school client wants.

For two years this saga has been playing out and the intelligent, competent School Council have been arguing the best way to spend $2.4m of taxpayer funds that would population proof the school for decades.

The unaccountable, unrepresentative, dictatorial and clearly irresponsible VSBA (Victorian School Building Authority) were determined to waste $2.4m on ‘refurbishing’ an asbestos ridden, not fit for purpose, out of date structure that wastes valuable play space and who just ignored the School Council’s well researched and costed superior alternative.

I am aware that the Member for Geelong mouthed words of support for the school community on the issue prior to the election but has refused all interaction since being elected on Nov 24 2018.  The Minister is no better and in answer to a recent parliamentary question on the matter was so disinterested that he confused Western Victoria Region with Western Metro Region!

The Federal Member for Corio, Richard Marles is a parent at the school and even he refuses to engage.

I attended a public meeting at the school last week where the frustrations and fury of school community members was palpable.

This is a government subletting decision making to an Authority established in 2016, with questionable modus operandi and totally unsatisfactory outcome delivery but a government knowing that they have untold electoral majority and consequently untold power, so are not obliged to engage in the interests of constituents or the taxpayer.

This is a disgraceful demonstration of political arrogance by The Member for Geelong, Christine Couzens; the Upper House Government Minister with an office in Geelong, Gayle Tierney; Education Minister, Merlino and even the Federal Member for Corio, Richard Marles.

16 March 2019