Hillsmeade Primary School Urban Camp

Ms GRALEY (Narre Warren South) — Each year students from Hillsmeade Primary School take part in an Urban Camp as part of the Public Transport Adventures (PTA) program.

This camp allows the students to experience the social and cultural offerings available in the city of Melbourne. As part of the camp, students get to take a tour of Parliament House, and it has been my great pleasure to be their guide over the past few years. Unfortunately these days may be coming to an end as a result of this government’s savage cuts and disregard for education in Victoria.

Ms Carmel Spruhan and her grade 6 class invited me out to Hillsmeade Primary School recently. They had recently received an email from Patrick O’Sullivan, executive officer of the Urban Camp Melbourne Co-operative.

In the email Mr O’Sullivan explained that recent state government budget cuts identified that the Public Transport Adventures program was to be abolished. He also sought their support for the continuation of the PTA program. As the students in Ms Spruhan’s class had thoroughly enjoyed their Urban Camp experience along with 120 other schools across Victoria, they jumped into action and organised a petition to save the program.
As a result of their hard work they gathered well over 100 signatures, and they asked that I have the petition tabled in Parliament. I have gladly done so.

Schools and families in my electorate are having a hard time under the Baillieu government, with cuts to Victorian certificate of applied learning coordination, cuts to TAFE, cuts to the education maintenance allowance and national partnership funding being withheld. They have even lost their Free Fruit Fridays. Now their Urban Camp is under threat.

On behalf of the students, staff and parents of Hillsmeade Primary School I ask that the funding for the Urban Camp be reinstated.