Adjournment Matters No 1138
59 Parliament First Session
Asked: 18 February 2021


MS WATT — To ask the Minister for Training and Skills (for the Minister for Education): 

My adjournment matter is directed to the Honourable James Merlino, Deputy Premier and Minister for Education. Earlier this year I had the honour of joining the Premier, the Minister for Education and my fellow member for Northern Metropolitan Region Nazih Elasmar at the opening of the brand new Docklands Primary School. This new three-storey vertical school will cater for 525 students plus have an onsite early learning centre to allow local families to avoid the dreaded double drop-off, reducing the morning burden. It really is a wonderful place to learn, with brand new classrooms, a library, music and arts rooms, a competition-grade indoor court for basketball and netball, as well as plenty of outdoor learning terraces. This school is part of this Labor government’s school building boom, with record investments into schools to make Victoria the Education State, ensuring that every child has access to a great quality education as Victoria continues to grow.

I would like to acknowledge the advocacy of the previous member for Melbourne, Jennifer Kanis, in making this school a reality and ensuring families in inner-city Melbourne can send their children to a school close to home. This school will provide so much for the local community in Docklands and in West Melbourne.

The families of North Melbourne will soon be able to send their children to school at the North Melbourne Hill primary school, opening in 2023 after it receives $36 million in funding from the 2020–21 state budget. This school will provide fantastic new amenities for the local community, with construction to commence later this year. Only Labor governments can deliver this kind of investment for Melbourne’s inner suburbs.

In addition, three more schools in my electorate welcomed students for the first time this year, and I would like to acknowledge those schools and thank them for their continued great works. This Labor government is making sure every child across Melbourne’s north has access to great schools close to home and a fantastic education, no matter their postcode. The action that I seek from the Minister for Education is for him to provide me with an update of how many new schools will be built and how many existing schools will receive major upgrades in 2021 within the Northern Metropolitan Region.

Answered: 16 March 2021

Mr MERLINO (Monbulk—Minister for Education, Minister for Mental Health):

The Andrews Labor Government is building the Education State to ensure that every child has access to a great local school. We have invested more than $9 billion over the past five years to build new schools and modernise existing educational facilities across Victoria. The 2020–21 State Budget invests more than $3 billion in school upgrades, including $1.1 billion as part of the previously announced Building Works Package, with a further $1.9 billion to roll out the next phase of the school building boom.

I was pleased to attend the official opening of Docklands Primary School and speak with staff and students about this fantastic new school and its facilities. This state-of-the-art, three-storey, vertical school includes a library, music and arts rooms, outdoor learning terraces and a competition-grade indoor sports court for netball and basketball. In addition, as you mentioned, an on-site early-learning centre has been built to help more parents avoid the ‘dreaded double drop-off’.

As you are aware, the most recent State Budget also provides at least $36.12 million for the new North Melbourne Hill Primary School (interim name), which will open to students in 2023. This investment builds on the $5 million previously allocated to the project through the Infrastructure Planning and Acceleration Fund, and the $2.15 million in planning funds allocated through the 2018–19 State Budget. This vertical school, which will be located on Molesworth Street, will add exciting new amenities to Melbourne’s inner north and west. A kindergarten will also be included as part of our commitment to build a kindergarten on-site or next door to every new Victorian primary school.

In terms of new schools within the Northern Metropolitan Region, three new schools opened their doors to students in time for Term 1, 2021 (Edgars Creek Primary School, Gaayip-Yagila Primary School and Keelonith Primary School). These three schools shared in the $624.8 million in funding for new schools allocated through the 2019–20 State Budget.

Regarding upgrades at existing schools, the 2020–21 State Budget allocated funding to five specialist schools and 16 mainstream schools in the Northern Metropolitan Region. The 2020–21 State Budget also allocated at least $18.935 million to Preston High School for the next stage of its construction, including refurbishments to its old gymnasium to create spaces for performing arts, music and the main library, and construction of a new four-level building with creative arts, design technology and general purpose classrooms.

As part of the 2020 Building Works Package, 12 schools in the Northern Metropolitan Region were allocated funding. As part of this package, Greenvale Secondary School, Kalkallo Common Primary School and Wollert East Primary School (Interim Name) shared in $438.6 million in funding allocated for new schools. These three schools are scheduled to open in 2022.

The Building Works Package also allocated funding to provide additional capacity at four schools in the Northern Metropolitan Region (Carlton Gardens Primary School, Glenroy West Primary School, Meadows Primary School and Preston South Primary School). Furthermore, this package allocated funding for school upgrades at five existing schools in the Northern Metropolitan Region for upgrade and modernisation works (Brunswick North West Primary School, Clifton Hill Primary School, Greensborough Secondary College, Pascoe Vale South Primary School and Reservoir Primary School).

I trust this information is of assistance