Strathaird Primary School

MS GRALEY (Narre Warren South) — My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Education and concerns Strathaird Primary School. The action I seek is that the minister ensures that Strathaird Primary School receives funding to install sunshade protection and shelter to facilitate multi-use of its basketball courts. Strathaird Primary school is a wonderful local school with a large and growing student population and a current attendance of 850 students. At the moment the school lacks adequate sheltered areas for its students to play under during summer or in poor weather. The school principal, Martin Shepherd, and the school council president, Mr Wes Delzoppo, have been advocating for the need of a covered area in their school during my visits over the past two years. I appreciate that they have been working very hard to procure capital works funding for their school to ensure that this project goes ahead.

The provision of high-quality shading will be a significant step in limiting UV radiation exposure and reducing the impact of skin cancer in the school community. The installation of shelter over the basketball courts will also provide students with a multipurpose outdoor area, which can be utilised to play and exercise, serve as a meeting and assembly place and can be used as an extra learning space. In addition Strathaird Primary School is already a SunSmart member and does an outstanding job at implementing a policy to educate our young people about the dangers of UV radiation. Students understand the importance of wearing appropriate clothing, putting on sunscreen and remaining hydrated, but we can do more. These students deserve to have access to outdoor sheltered areas to increase their opportunities at school to learn, grow, achieve and have fun.

The school has costed the project at $201 000 and will be making a significant financial contribution to see the job through. I know that the Andrews Labor government has not only committed $15.2 million over four years for a range of skin cancer prevention initiatives but is also working towards achieving a target of 100 per cent of Victorian schools to become SunSmart members. This would be a fantastic opportunity to provide much-needed shade protection and extra outdoor meeting and learning areas at the school, where the principal and staff go beyond their duties for the wellbeing of their students. I urge the minister to ensure that Strathaird Primary School receives the support it needs to deliver this vital project for the school community.