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Government tight-lipped on school site

30 Mar 2017

By Shane Scanlan

As the State Government’s self-imposed deadline to identify the site of the new Docklands primary school looms, it says it is still a work in progress.

Education Minister James Merlino said on October 11 that the site of the new school would be announced within six months.

But, as the April Docklands News went to press, an Education Department spokesperson said: “The government is committed to delivering a school in the Docklands and is currently working to identify a suitable site.”

Docklands News understands that the government has, in fact, chosen a site for the school – the former Docklands “place of worship” site on the corner of Footscray Rd and Little Docklands Drive.

The “place of worship” was an election promise of the previous Coalition State Government but was never delivered.

Former planning minister and current leader of the opposition Matthew Guy first announced plans for a Docklands place of worship in 2012.

In June 2015, Places Victoria terminated a lengthy bid process for a local place of worship. It had spent two years in negotiations with CityLife Church – a Pentecostal mega-church based in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.

To bid for the place of worship, interested parties had to offer community benefits, such as co-sharing premises with other denominations or providing education and training facilities.

At the time, it was anticipated the project would be well underway by 2015 and two other religious agencies were initially short-listed during the bid process.

The Faith Communities Council of Victoria (FCCV), a Victorian multi-faith organisation, withdrew its bid in early 2013.

Pentecostal Christian church Planetshakers had also been keen to develop a place of worship in Docklands, but was out of the running for the project by 2013.

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