THE state government has been asked to provide top-up funding to address asbestos issues at Seaspray Primary School.
Speaking in state parliament, Gippsland South MLA Danny O’Brien has called on Education Minister James Merlino to provide more funding for the removal of an old asbestos-filled toilet block at the school.
“The school was very happy a few years ago to be given $190,000 which it thought would be able to be used for renovations and new buildings,” he said.
“However, after the Andrews Labor government broke its commitment to remove asbestos from every school by 2020, the money instead had to go to the replacement of 40-year-old asbestos-ridden toilets.
“While the school is pleased to have fixed that problem, it’s now been told by the Education Department that it has to pay up to $15,000 to remove the old toilet block.”
The school contacted Mr O’Brien, saying it simply did not have the money, and the old building would have to be left there until the money could be raised.
“On their behalf I’ve now taken this matter up with the Education Minister in parliament, and asked him to ensure that additional funding is provided for the removal of the toilet block.
“You can’t give with one hand and take away with the other, and this funding arrangement has been something of a charade from the start.
“The school had hoped to do other works with the funding it received a few years ago but instead, had to address the asbestos issue in its toilets.
“To now be told they have to find the money to remove the old toilets was somewhat of a shock.
“This is a relatively small amount of money, and I am calling on the Andrews government to just fix the problem.”