Monash Weekly: ALP leaves Pinewood Primary School out in rain

November 15th, 2010 posted by


A Mt Waverley primary school forced to endure leaking roofs and run-down buildings has been snubbed by the ALP ahead of the state election.

Pinewood Primary School has been campaigning for years for funding to upgrade its ageing facilities built 50 years ago.

School council president Tim Day said the situation had reached boiling point.

“I’ve been a member of the school council coming on five years,” he said.

“In that time there’s been effectively no funding at state level for our school.

“We’ve got leaking roofs, a dilapidated school, and if not for the Building the Education Revolution federal money, it wouldn’t have changed in my time at the school.”

With the election looming the Liberal Party candidate for the state’s most marginal seat of Mt Waverley, Michael Gidley, has promised $4.5million for a full rebuilding of the school.

Mr Gidley said Pinewood desperately needed upgrades.

“We’ve looked at that and said we don’t think it’s reasonable that the students should have to learn in those conditions,” he said.

But sitting Labor MP Maxine Morand has not matched his promise.

Ms Morand has instead pledged an estimated $5million for new buildings at Glen Waverley Primary School and an undisclosed amount to upgrade Mt Waverley North Primary School.

She said she advocated for all the schools in her area.

“We can’t do every school at once. We’ve got to prioritise schools and Glen Waverley’s needs are also very great,” she said.

But Mr Day said the school felt it had been neglected.

“Particularly considering this has been a long-running request for advocacy from our local member – that’s her job.

“We want the kids to learn in an environment where they don’t have to use buckets to catch the rain.”

The school is also asking for an additional $30,000 to complete its BER project, which includes new classrooms, a new library, a kitchen and toilets.

The school had planned for an all-weather disability access corridor to the new building but had to revise the plan because of cost blowouts. Mr Gidley has committed the Liberals to extra funding while Ms Morand said the project needed to stay within its budget.

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