Benalla College Seymour College Education

Seymour College and Benalla P-12 College

18 March 2015

 March 18, 2015

Ms RYAN (Euroa) — I raise a matter for the attention of the Minister for Education. The action I seek is that the minister visit Seymour College and Benalla P–12 College with me before the state budget is handed down in May to hear the requests of those schools for additional capital funding.

Benalla college is falling apart. Classrooms are riddled with mould, one so badly that it has been permanently sealed off because of the health and safety risk it presents to students and teachers. The school's learning environment is not fit for purpose, and students are unable to work in collaborative learning spaces which befit a 21st century school. In fact former students have recently observed that the college has not changed since they attended it in the 1960s. The coalition government recognised how vital it was to upgrade Benalla college. In the 2013 budget it allocated $5 million to begin the rebuild of the school. We went to last year's election with a commitment of a further $15 million to complete the project. Unfortunately Labor made no commitment, and the school has been left in limbo. The latest advice from the minister's department is that the school must spend the $5 million allocated by the coalition on maintaining the old building it intends to demolish when it rebuilds. I have discussed this situation at length with the executive of the college and the wider community and have visited the college on three separate occasions since I was elected in November.

Seymour's school community faces similar problems to Benalla. Seymour College currently faces a number of serious challenges as it strives to meet the needs of its students, many of whom face a high degree of disadvantage. Stage 1 of the Seymour College regeneration project was completed after the coalition government invested $5 million to modernise the school's P–4 area, its special school area and administration buildings. The next stages of the regeneration project include rebuilding the years 5 to 8 and years 9 to 12 facilities and the development of the technical wing. I fought hard to obtain a commitment from the coalition government before the election for a further $15 million for Seymour College, a commitment I was disappointed Labor did not match. Like Benalla P–12 College, the Seymour College school community is seeking a meeting with the minister so that he can see firsthand just how urgent this project is.


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