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Docklands is dudded

29 Mar 2011

Docklands is no closer to getting a primary school, despite assurances last year that a feasibility study had been commissioned to look at a site in Digital Harbour.

The former Education Minister Bronwyn Pike announced the study last July but the new State Government says it never happened.

A spokesperson for the new Education Minister Martin Dixon said: “I can confirm that despite making an announcement about undertaking a feasibility study into a possible school in Docklands, the former Education Minister Bronwyn Pike did not authorise a study to commence.”

Ms Pike denies this saying that, not only did she commission the study, but it was also completed and she saw it last August or September.

“We did commission the additional study,” Ms Pike said. “The initial report which I received did indicate demand in the Docklands and surrounding vicinity and we were consulting the community and the businesses in the area to quantify that further.”

The department is currently advising the Minister on whether it is feasible to undertake a feasibility study.

It is understood that the department does not believe there are sufficient numbers of children to warrant a school in Docklands.  Further, it is not committed to the Digital Harbour site announced by Ms Pike and is looking further afield in the south of Docklands and E-Gate.

Mr Dixon’s spokesperson said: “The Education Department is currently monitoring future growth projections for the area and is looking at the enrolment capacity of nearby schools.”

“A report is also being prepared by the department into whether a feasibility study should proceed and its possible scope,” the spokesperson said.

Docklands News has previously reported on the trend for young families to move out of Docklands once their children reach primary school age because there is no school.  And the number of families living in Docklands with pre-school age children continues to grow.

A City of Melbourne report to the Docklands Co-ordination Committee on March 24 said: “The pre-school story-time program run by Melbourne Library Service is averaging 30 children and 25 adults per session, reflecting an increasing number of Docklands families with more than one child under the age of five.”

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Comments

  • Martin Foley MP at 10:04pm on 02/05/11

    This reflects that the State Government and its Department of Education are engaged in a weird game of blame shiftin and coverup - at the expense of Docklands and Southbank Families.
    Schools in the Electoral district of Albert Park near capacity the communities on both sides of the river deserve new public school primary places. The FOI lodged will show the truth of the matter
    Martin Foley MP

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