Mr BURGESS (Hastings) (19:08:21) — (14 335) My adjournment matter tonight is for the Minister for Education, and the action I seek is that he provide an urgent solution to the myriad of issues facing Cranbourne South Primary School in my electorate. I have met with the school’s very passionate principal, Monique Corcoran, and its very strong school council on a number of occasions to hear their very serious concerns about the welfare and safety of their school community and the learning of their students.
The school is dearly loved by the school’s leadership, the teaching staff, the students and the Cranbourne South community. However, it is in urgent need of a major maintenance upgrade. The coalition went to the last election committed to providing $618 000 to assist the school community to begin to deal with the many challenges. There is an urgent need for ramp access for non‑ambulant people as currently there is no such access to critically important areas, including the first‑aid room. While an accessible building grant was applied for in November 2017, the school has only recently been informed that it is reaching the tender stage.
Minister, concerned school parents have been moved to write to your department as the school has been kept in the dark regarding the progress of these desperately needed ramps. Three classrooms have had to be relocated as a result of this inadequacy.
Another issue of great importance is the need to replace the student toilet block. The school has been forced to quarantine the existing toilet block since February of this year because of its shocking conditions, with portable toilets having to be provided. I call on the minister to have these toilets replaced immediately. Forcing children to use portable toilets in their local school for over three months is just unacceptable. The school community is very disappointed that the school has been left in a situation in which it has now received two Environment Protection Authority Victoria abatement notices, two amended abatement notices and a revocation notice about the ongoing issue of its septic water treatment upgrade. The ongoing issue has caused a great deal of concern and wasted a lot of time for the community, who just want to have their children receive a good education. Providing children with decent toilets and an effective method of disposing of the effluent is surely not asking too much.
The school also has a significant problem with dangerous trees that need to be removed. Fourteen trees have been classed by an assessment and management arborist report as critical. One such tree was uprooted in a wind storm earlier this year. The school council has already put in $6000 to have six dangerous trees removed. These funds have come from an already very thin building and grounds budget, leaving very little for the remainder. The department has inexplicably refused to reimburse the school. The school has been left to initiate an emergency maintenance grant to remove the remaining dangerous trees. However, I now call on the minister to reimburse the school for these things.
I also call on the minister to have all the asbestos in the students toilets and A block removed immediately and to not wait until 2022. Unbelievably classrooms 1 and 2 in the main building have been quarantined because of the mould. These rectifications must proceed now.