People power should not be underestimated.
When parents from Napoleons Primary School were first told a modified portable classroom that housed art classes and their library would be removed at the end of the year, they eagerly starting meeting with their local MP and candidates.
The classroom is not reminiscent of a standard portable classroom. It has been built into the school, meaning almost $100,000 would need to be spent to reconstruct walls and facilities at the school.
However, despite widespread political support, the school council didn’t manage to get any concrete results from their local politicians.
That was until Thursday when it was revealed Labor had committed to keeping the classroom at the site if it was to win this month’s election.
“There were times when we felt like no one was listening, no one was understanding was really going on. It was just on paper,” school council president Joanne Gilbert said.
“We are very pleased. We feel like we have been listened to and understood. Realistically, it was the understanding that this was an exceptional case, this was different, and we wanted people to know the economical side of it didn’t make sense.”
Due to the community push, the school became somewhat of a revolving door for politicians all agreeing it would be a poor decision to remove the building.
Ballarat East MP Geoff Howard said the high costs involved in removing the room meant any change did not make any sense.
“We would see it as an integral part of the school and that is the way it would remain.”
Despite previously supporting the classroom being kept, Liberal candidate for Buninyong Ben Taylor did not respond to multiple calls from The Courier on the issue.