Push for new school

RELATED: Plea for money to build school

WELLINGTON Shire Council is seeking to meet with Education Minister James Merlino to secure $15 million in funding for a new Sale Specialist School.

Council decided to write to Mr Merlino, who is also the Deputy Premier, to highlight the urgent need for the new school, including the growing demand for enrolments and long-standing inadequacies of the existing facilities.

Council will seek to meet with the minister regarding plans for the school and seek a commitment to funding it.

The resolution will be passed to Labor Eastern Victoria MLCs Harriet Shing and Daniel Mulino.

With a by-election in the seat of Gippsland South following the resignation of Peter Ryan, now is the ideal time to get the issue of the specialist school back into the spotlight.

Councillor Darren McCubbin said council would do all it could to push the plight of the school to the forefront of the government’s agenda.

Cr McCubbin said the issue transcended both sides of politics.

“The Sale Specialist School has for many years been enduring under rather terrible conditions,” he said.

“These are people who are very disadvantaged; they are very much deserving of special consideration within our community.

“I know there are a group of people who work tremendously hard to ensure their sons and daughters are well looked after.

“Unfortunately, the facilities are less than sub-standard.

“This is certainly something in our community we cannot be proud of.

“It’s important that the Minister of Education steps up to the plate and ensures this development occurs appropriately.”

Because of rising enrolments, Sale Specialist School has had to expand beyond its Raymond St campus to include a senior campus within the grounds of the Sale College Guthridge campus.

Land for the new school on the Princes Highway north of Sale has been bought, with the previous government providing $4 million for planning and design.

“This needs to be followed up by additional resources to actually build the school,” Cr McCubbin said.

“The $15 million which has been put forward is a best case estimate of what might be required.

“We really don’t know how much that’s going to require.

“What we do know is that this is something which is absolutely vital for our community.”