Adjournment – response

At the outset I say to the four members who requested it that I will be very happy to visit their respective electorates. I want to thank the member for Mordialloc for being a committed advocate for his community, particularly in the area of education. I was recently with him at Parkdale Primary School to confirm funding in the state budget, as we promised to deliver improvements at the school. He is a great advocate for education and schools in his electorate, and I thank him for raising the issue of Yarrabah School in Aspendale.

I am really proud of Labor’s special needs plan, covering both capital and teacher education. Compulsory education around special needs is part of our special needs plan, as is the review of the program for students with a disability, which is a specific capital program for schools to be more inclusive, and on top of that there is the biggest infrastructure program in the state’s history. I thank the member for raising the needs of Yarrabah with me. I am very happy to organise a visit with him to get out to the school community as quickly as possible. The needs he outlined tonight are quite clear, and I look forward to talking with the school community about its long-term needs.

The member for Bundoora requested a visit to Greensborough Secondary College. I will be delighted to join the member for Bundoora on that visit. Again he is a strong and passionate advocate for education as the local member, and as shadow parliamentary secretary for education in the lead-up to the last election campaign he was working specifically on the special needs plan that I just mentioned. He is a great advocate for schools in his community. We made a $10 million commitment to Greensborough Secondary College for a major and desperately needed upgrade to that terrific school. We delivered $1 million in this budget to do the planning works, and we will get on and rebuild this school as quickly as we can. I look forward to visiting the school with the member for Bundoora.

The member for Eltham requested a visit to St Helena Secondary College, and I will be delighted to visit the school with the member. She is one of a terrific group of new members who are passionate about their schools. I have seen that firsthand not only in terms of her advocacy for schools such as St Helena and Montmorency Secondary College but also in dealing with tragedy in her community. I acknowledge the work of the member for Eltham. As a former Minister for Sport, Recreation and Youth Affairs I am really excited about the delivery of the $2.5 million commitment we made for the sporting precinct that will benefit not only St Helena but also other local schools and local sporting clubs. I look forward to visiting the school with the member for Eltham.

Finally, the member for Sandringham raised the matter of a visit to and a discussion with the school council at Sandringham College. I would be delighted to visit the school and have a great conversation with the school council. I acknowledge that there was a commitment, but right at the very end, in regard to Sandringham. I need to point out publicly that what the Beaumaris community was campaigning for was a stand-alone, self-governed years 7–12 secondary school. That is what the community wanted, and that is what we will deliver. During the election we committed $4 million for the Beaumaris campus. In the budget we delivered $6.5 million, and that is for stage 1. There will be works required in future budgets to keep investing in that school, and an Andrews Labor government will deliver a stand-alone, self-governed school for the Beaumaris community. I know that the community is absolutely delighted with that outcome.

We have been working collaboratively with the Sandringham College principal and school community. We delivered $2 million for Sandringham College in the budget. Curriculum choice, which the member talked about, is going to be a central component of this. There is great collaboration with the local schools. I want to see a stand-alone Sandringham College, a stand-alone Beaumaris campus and a stand-alone Mentone Girls Secondary College working collaboratively so that there are options available for students at each of the schools in terms of curriculum and extracurricular opportunities. I want to see that continue. It is not about establishing schools that are islands unto themselves; it will be a community that continues to work together.

Lastly, regarding the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC), what I said last year in the lead-up to the election — I said this to the principal of Sandringham College — is that I am supportive of the proposal for a collaboration between the MCC and local schools and the delivery of elite and community sporting facilities, which will be very welcome in that community. I will be positive about it as long as it fits in with the delivery of our commitment, which was a stand-alone 7–12 secondary school. I think we can do that. I think we can have delivery of our election commitment of a stand-alone 7–12 school at Beaumaris and also delivery of the exciting MCC proposal. The government will be working with the MCC; my department is already working closely with it to deliver that outcome. I will be happy to talk in more detail with the school council at Sandringham College, and I thank the member for raising the issue tonight.