Bannockburn needs a new school

I WOULD like to bring to attention the need for a new school in Bannockburn.

For many years now, the residents of the Golden Plains Shire have been constantly promised that there would be a new school built in Bannockburn to accommodate the ever-growing population.

In the budget of May 2012, the hopes were once again dashed as funding was not allocated to allow this to happen, leaving 533 children who attend the primary school now with no more than half a football field to play on.

The school is currently running on portable classrooms to cope with the ever-growing school population. The population, according to the Bureau of Statistics, in Bannockburn alone grew by 82 per cent in the 10 years to 2011.

For anyone who has not visited the area of late, the subdivisions of land and the constant building of new houses means this will continue to rise and without a new facility to educate our children, the children are the ones who are disadvantaged.

Land was purchased by the Education Department and signed over. That was now more than 12 months ago, and while Bannockburn has allegedly been placed on the future capital works planning program in the Grampians Region, the residents of Bannockburn are still staring blankly at the vacant block of land with no development to date. The municipality alone buses 1750 students each day to secondary schools, none of which are in the shire surrounds.

This not only takes our children away from their community as a whole, it also creates strain on other schools which have to cope with the overflow of students - not to mention the cost of travel as well as time.

There are 19,000 residents in the Golden Plains Shire and not one secondary school to educate the children. Parents are placed in situations where they have to send their children to school up to an hour away, and this is not because they want to, this is because they have to.

Children who want to work part-time in their own town cannot, as usually they are home far too late to even consider a part-time job, and this also applies to playing in community-based sporting clubs, as getting to training for these kids is impossible.

Bannockburn needs a new education facility and needs the monies allocated to build it. It is clearly a necessity.

LEAH PHILLIPS

Bannockburn

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