Baillieu Government ignores parents pleas on special school

The Minister for Education Martin Dixon has ignored the requests of local parents to open the Officer Special School on an interim site in 2013, State Labor Member for Narre Warren South Judith Graley said today.

The Coalition promised at the 2010 state election that the school would open in 2013; a promise the Baillieu Government has subsequently broken.   

Ms Graley said that at a public meeting held on 8 March, local parents requested that the State Government provide an interim site so that the school could open in 2013.

“Parents were shocked to hear that the Officer Special School will not open in 2013,” she said

“Education Department officials at the meeting would not even guarantee that it would open in 2014,”

“Parents cannot wait another two years for their special school to open,”

“Parents want the Baillieu Government to establish the Officer Special School at a temporary site while the school is being constructed, just like the former Labor Government did when we delivered Alkira Secondary College.”

Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Education Colin Brooks used the Adjournment Debate in Parliament yesterday to call on Minister Dixon to provide funding for the interim operation of a special school in the Casey-Cardinia area until the purpose-built school is constructed.  

“Minister Dixon completely ignored the request and did not even acknowledge that local parents want the Baillieu Government to establish the school at a temporary site while the purpose-built school is constructed,” he said

“Parents were counting on the Officer Special School being open in 2013 as promised, but this dithering, do-nothing Baillieu Government is making them wait years.”

Ms Graley said that the Member for Gembrook Brad Battin has failed to effectively represent the views of parents to the Baillieu Government.

“Brad Battin has abandoned the people who voted for him on the basis that the Officer Special School would open in 2013,” she said

“He didn’t even bother to front up to the public meeting so that he could explain why the Baillieu Government is delaying the opening of the school.”