Where’s the money, Minister Merlino?

DISMAYED: Beechworth Secondary College students Sarwar Hussain (left), Tom Christesen, Riley Goldsworthy, Holly Borschman, Morgan Lupson, Indigo Rowe and college council president Larry Goldsworthy are disgruntled that the campus has continued to miss out on desperately-needed capital works funding. PHOTO: Coral Cooksley

BEECHWORTH Secondary College council and the college community continues to be dismayed by the Victorian government’s failure to make an unambiguous funding commitment for long overdue capital works at the college campus.

The college was one of six rural and regional schools among 35 which shared in a $12 million state budget allocation last year to meet the costs of scoping and planning for major new building and infrastructure improvements.

This took Beechworth a step closer but the government ignored the school community’s needs in the current budget.

The last major improvements on the campus were completed a decade ago.

College council president Larry Goldsworthy said students were still being taught in sub-standard demountable classrooms.

“It’s time the state government stopped treating the students and staff of Beechworth Secondary College as second class citizens,” he told the Ovens and Murray Advertiser last week.

“Our children are being taught in 1960s-era demountable buildings and it has been going on for too long, while other schools all around us have modern facilities.

“We need actions and not words from our politicians.

“If you know or can write a letter to our Premier, Treasurer, Minister for Education and local Members of Parliament then please do so – and keep reminding them that our kids matter, too.

“We need funds allocated to build the school that will set the foundation for the future education needs of our children.”

The government has responded to Advertiser questions with a bland statement.

“Beechworth Secondary College received funding to start planning an upgrade so that work can start the moment funding is delivered,” a spokesman for Education Minister James Merlino said late last week.

“Capital works funding will be considered in future Budgets.”

 

 

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