Adjournment Matter: Warrnambool SDS playground funding

Extracted from Hansard
20 March 2019

Adjournment Matter: Warrnambool SDS playground funding.

My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Education, and the action I seek is that he provide information about what specific equipment is funded as part of the new build of the Warrnambool Special Developmental School.

On 19 September last year, in response to a question from me in this place about budget allocations for the new Warrnambool Special Developmental School, the minister told the Warrnambool Standard the following:

I am advised that as part of the new school construction project, both landscaping and playground equipment are provided for in the budget.

So, Minister, you could imagine my surprise when I heard a radio advertisement on local station 3YBFM calling for the community to support a fundraising campaign for the school which says the following:

The Government has provided funding for soft-fall material, but nothing for the children to play on.

The advertisement then goes on to ask the community for assistance to provide funding for playground equipment at the new school.

Now, there is something wrong here. You, Minister, are saying playground equipment and landscaping are provided for in the budget, but the school community obviously does not understand that to be the case; otherwise they would not feel the need to run an advertising campaign calling for community support, specifically for playground equipment.

The minister has a chequered history with this project, at first dragging his feet over successive budgets, failing to deliver funding for the build, and only jumping to action when I announced the Liberal-Nationals would fully fund the new building if elected. So you can imagine how sceptical I am about anything the minister says about this school.

Can the minister provide my community with information about what is actually included in this school development and explain why his statement, as reported by the Warrnambool Standard, is at odds with what the school believes has been funded and what it is seeking support from the community for through radio advertisements.