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Super schools announcement for Geelong region

Thursday, 11 October 2018

An elected Liberal Nationals Government will invest $90.25 million in schools in the Geelong region as part of our plan to build a state of cities and ease the population squeeze.

A Liberal Nationals Government will spend $7 million on upgrading Bellaire Primary School, another $9 million on a redevelopment of Belmont High School and $8 million for improvements to Bellbrae Primary School. 

This is on top of $34.5 million to build a new Armstrong Creek Secondary School, completing the move of Oberon High School into the Armstrong Creek Education Precinct.

Funding also includes a feasibility study into a secondary college in Leopold to ease pressure on Bellarine Secondary and Newcomb Secondary.

An elected Liberal Nationals Government will also support a partnership with Catholic and independent schools with a $400 million fund to upgrade and build new schools across Victoria.

That funding will include $3 million for Our Lady Star of the Sea School in Ocean Grove for the construction of a multi-purpose centre including three general learning areas, a collaborative area, staff workspace, a small hall space, storage facilities and an extension of the carpark.

Iona College Geelong will receive $6 million for construction of a sporting oval as well as a pavilion, change rooms, amenities and car parking to support both the College and the local community.

There will also be $6 million to support Lisieux Catholic Primary School in Torquay North to support the construction of Stage 2 of the new school including general learning areas and student amenities.

St John’s Lutheran School will receive $3 million towards the building of a new Resource and Learning Centre.

The Christian College Geelong in Waurn Ponds will receive $3.5 million in support for a new maths and science centre for the Senior School.

The centrepiece of our announcement is a Geelong Region Autism School at the present Oberon High School site with a new secondary school to be built at Armstrong Creek.

If we are going to build a state of cities instead of being a city state, then it means investing in more schools, police and healthcare in cities like Geelong.

Unplanned, unmanaged population growth is killing Geelong’s liveability. Population growth in the Geelong region is growing at a much faster rate than that of local infrastructure and key services like police, transport, education and health.

That’s why this mega-investment in Geelong region’s schools is so important.

The Liberal Nationals $7 million investment in the Bellaire Primary School will include replacement of the South Wing as well as a gymnasium, canteen and refurbished learning spaces.

An elected Liberal Nationals Government will also commit $9 million to redevelop Belmont High School. This funding will include a new library and VCE centre. The old library building will be refurbished to become a language learning centre.

An $8 million investment will also be made by a Liberal Nationals Government to upgrade the Bellbrae Primary School.  Bellbrae was originally a small rural school that has been squeezed by Torquay’s huge population growth. Bellbrae Primary School has over 500 students with many forced into portable classrooms.  Of the 21 classrooms, 12 are portables.  The school also does not have a gym and uses tank water with a septic system that cannot cope with the present number of students.  Under our plan, funds will be used to build six new classrooms, a new gymnasium, a connection to town water and an upgrade of the school oval.

A Liberal Nationals Government will provide a new autism-specific school in Geelong by funding a $10 million revamp of the former Oberon High School site. Despite Geelong being one of Victoria’s fastest-growing regions it doesn’t have a dedicated school for children with autism.

The present school buildings date from the 1960s and some will need to be rebuilt, but there is an oval, gym, canteen, library, and netball courts which are all in good condition. Daniel Andrews and Labor intend to sell the existing site for development once it is vacated. 

This investment in schools in the Geelong region will ease the local population squeeze and help give our children the best opportunities.

The Liberal Nationals have a plan to decentralise our jobs and our population. Daniel Andrews and Labor only have an election campaign plan. 

Comments attributable to Leader for the Opposition, Matthew Guy:

“Unplanned, unmanaged population growth in Geelong is putting enormous pressure on infrastructure and services.   

An elected Liberal Nationals Government will make one of the biggest ever investments in Geelong’s schools to ease the pressure and give children the best opportunities.

An autism specific school in Geelong is long overdue and vitally needed locally. 

Victoria must do more to help families who have a member or members that have autism. It is now time for real, practical solutions and new state investments to help these families.”

Comments attributable to Shadow Assistant Minister for Geelong, Andrew Katos:

“This is a red letter day for Geelong.

Hot on the heels of the Liberal Nationals recent announcement of a High Speed Rail for Geelong, this mega-investment will help our schools catch-up to local population growth.

Only the Liberal Nationals have a plan to ease the squeeze on population growth.”

Comments attributable to Liberal candidate for Geelong, Freya Fidge:

“As a former student of St John’s Lutheran I understand how much this funding announcement will benefit current and future students.

This local schools funding is more evidence that the Liberal Nationals are serious about building a state of cities.”

Comments attributable to Liberal candidate for Bellarine, Brian McKiterick:

“You need a plan for population growth otherwise education infrastructure will never catch up.

Only the Liberal Nationals have a plan to get back in control of population growth and ease the pressure on services like education and schools.”