- Questions on Notice No 6298
- Assembly59 Parliament First Session
- Asked: 17 November 2021
Question on Notice
Ms Sandell to ask the Minister for Education — With reference to the development of the new North Melbourne Primary School Campus on Abbotsford St:
(1) Will the Government commit to providing access to open space and school facilities to residents and the broader community outside of school hours.
(2) Will the school have dedicated on-site parking, noting that many neighbouring houses do not have off-street parking, and how will the Government reduce the disruption to resident parking around the school.
(3) How high will the new school buildings be, and has the Government considered the impact of shading on the houses in surrounding streets.
(4) Does the Government have a dedicated traffic management plan which takes into account the flow of car, foot, bike and other pedestrian traffic between the two school campuses; if not, will the Government commit to undertaking a traffic impact study.
(5) The new North Melbourne Primary School will likely be one of the largest public primary school communities in Victoria. What is the Government doing to ensure this is managed in a way that ensures a cohesive school community, and ensure all kids get access to a great education.
- Answered: 10 January 2022
The Minister for Education:
I am informed as follows:
The Andrews Labor Government is committed to investing in education and school infrastructure and we have invested more than $10.9 billion to school facilities over the past seven years. To meet the demands of Victoria’s growing population, we committed to opening 100 new schools between 2019 and 2026, including a new campus for North Melbourne Primary School. We are building a fantastic new campus to complement North Melbourne Primary School on Errol Street and cater for projected future growth.
Expanding the capacity of the school will enable the school to cater for significant enrolment growth over the coming years. This will allow North Melbourne Primary School to continue to offer an excellent education to all local students.
As part of the 2020–21 State Budget, this project was allocated at least $36.12 million to construct the new facilities, and shared in the $147.3 million allocated for land acquisition. The project was also allocated $5 million under the 2020 Infrastructure Planning and Acceleration Fund and $2.15 million for planning in the 2018–19 State Budget.
The Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA) is working to deliver the new campus in time for Term 1 2023. The new campus comprises six storeys and includes a competition-grade gymnasium—suited for basketball and netball—and performing arts facilities located on lower ground. As part of the design process, modelling was undertaken to minimise the shadowing impacts of the new campus on surrounding streets.
I can further confirm the new campus will include exciting amenities that can be used by the wider community outside of school hours. These include the ground-level playground space and the competition-grade gymnasium. Out-of-hours use of the facilities will be managed by the North Melbourne Primary School principal and is expected to occur following the new campus opening.
The key driver for the Government’s decision to build a new school campus in North Melbourne was to provide all local children with access to an excellent local school, near where they live.
North Melbourne Primary School encourages all students to walk, scoot, ride or catch public transport to and from school whenever possible. The school has an active path program with four marked active paths through North Melbourne, near where most students live. Many students use these paths to get to school. This program will be extended to include both campuses.
While there is no parking provided on the new campus site, there is provision for bicycle parking in several locations within the new campus, and both campuses are also located near public transport. There will be six entrances into the new campus to make access easier from different parts of North Melbourne and to help avoid congestion.
We have submitted a traffic proposal to the City of Melbourne which factors in student drop-off and pick-up, bus parking, accessible parking, and staff parking. The City of Melbourne is responsible for traffic matters outside of the campus site including out-of-hours parking.
Consistent with all school building projects, the appointed builder has worked with local authorities to develop a traffic management plan for the campus site during construction.
The wonderful team at North Melbourne Primary School are striving to develop a supportive and inclusive learning environment for their diverse community by providing a rich curriculum and evidence-based teaching practices.
I am advised the school is seeking to ensure pedagogical synergy across both campuses, while allowing each campus to have its own distinct identity within the community. Students will have opportunities to visit both campuses and connect with each other to enhance their learning over the years.
I look forward to seeing works on the campus progress and how the new facilities will benefit North Melbourne Primary School and the local community for years to come. I can assure you that the VSBA will continue to work closely with the school to deliver an infrastructure outcome that will benefit the entire school community.
Thank you for raising this matter with me. I trust this information is of assistance.
The Hon James Merlino MP
Minister for Education
Minister for Mental Health