Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, pictured with Bairnsdale Secondary College students, Katherine Dobinson and Matthew Corbett and Principal, Ian Hall at the officially opening of the $10 million Stage one redevelopment. TIm has invited the new Education Minister to visit the school and commit to funding stage 2 of the redevelopment.
With the Bairnsdale Secondary College awaiting news on funding for its completion (stage two), the Minister for Education was this week invited to visit the school community to discuss the matter.
Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday night, State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, outlined the need for the half built school to be completed and extended an invitation to Minister James Merlino to visit the college with him.
“The background is well known in that the previous Coalition Government built stage one and committed $12.5 million pre-election for stage two. With the change in government in November we now need Labor to commit.”
Mr Bull told Parliament the Bairnsdale Secondary College is the biggest secondary school in the East Gippsland electorate and that stage one has provided a state-of-the-art facility.
“I attended the most recent school council meeting and had a good chat with the principal, school council president and members of the full council about completing the project.
“I have visited the half-built new facility on a number of occasions, including one visit with the former education minister where we chatted with staff and students.
“It provides a great teaching environment and discussions with staff indicate they are very happy and the students agree that it is a fantastic learning facility for them.”
Mr Bull said that while the new section of the school was first class, it would not function at full capacity until it was completed.
“I was very pleased the Coalition announced a commitment pre-election, but it did not attract a similar commitment from Labor despite the lobbying efforts of the school community.
“This is disappointing and we need to work with the current government to ensure this project is well and truly on their radar.
“The best way to have the situation understood is to have the new Minister come and see for himself and that is why I have invited him to visit.”
Mr Bull said under Parliamentary regulation, the Minister now had 30 days to respond to his formal invitation, but hoped he could soon show the Minister around the secondary college with the principal and school council president.