Adjournment: Mickleham Primary School
Ms SPENCE (Yuroke): My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Education, and the action I seek is for the minister to provide me with an update on the facilities at Mickleham Primary School. Mickleham primary has a tight-knit school community, serving both families living in rural areas as well as those in new housing developments on Melbourne’s fringe. In recent years local population growth has greatly increased the number of enrolments at the school, placing pressure on the school’s infrastructure. I have been working with the school community in relation to these matters, and I am pleased that to date a number of necessary improvements have been made to support the school’s growing population. Recently I again met with the principal, Sue Crispe, to tour the school, and it remains the case that there is a definite need for more facilities; in particular, administration rooms, staff toilets and a multipurpose space. I would greatly appreciate any information that the minister can provide to me on behalf of the Mickleham Primary School community regarding the school’s facilities, and I look forward to sharing his response.
I am informed as follows:
Firstly, I would like to thank you for your continued advocacy on behalf of Mickleham Primary School.
While the Andrews Labor Government has allocated more than $5.6 billion through the last five State Budgets to build, upgrade and maintain school infrastructure across the state, it remains true that it will take some time for the entire asset portfolio to be brought up to standard. Our ongoing challenge is to responsibly balance and prioritise the needs of 1,500 government schools, all in varying condition.
As you are aware, the Department of Education and Training undertook a condition assessment of the school facilities under the Rolling Facilities Evaluation (RFE) program in 2018. Using up-to-date information obtained through the RFE, the school has developed a school maintenance plan that documents and helps schedule maintenance tasks for the next five years.
Following its RFE assessment, the school was allocated $15,000 as part of the 2019-20 Planned Maintenance Program to address the identified priority defects. The funding has been allocated to address minor defects across Block B, Block C, the relocatable buildings on site and some stormwater drainage issues. I can confirm the school is currently planning for the project.
Regarding the toilets, I can assure you that all sanitary amenities constructed at government schools have been delivered in accordance with relevant building codes and standards. The National Construction Code specifies the minimum number of toilets for employees and students, with separate provisioning for males and females, including accessible facilities.
The Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA) has worked with the school to arrange relocatable toilet blocks for students, with the third and most recent being installed in late February this year. To accommodate teachers, the VSBA has provided hire toilets.
I was pleased to announce $101.3 million to deliver relocatable buildings under the 2019-20 State Budget. This support will provide sufficient classrooms to cater for student enrolment growth across the state in the 2020 school year, and drive the best educational outcomes for the school and its students. This investment builds on the $362 million already allocated to the Relocatable Building Program over the past four State Budgets. I am pleased to advise that as part of this program, the VSBA has been in contact with the school to confirm the provision of a staff administration relocatable building.
To address the school’s power supply needs, I am advised the VSBA has made an application on behalf of the local power distribution company, Jemena, for an increase in supply. The upgrade is anticipated to be delivered late this year. In the meantime, the VSBA is working with the school to alleviate demand for mains power through supplying solar panels. These solar panels are anticipated to be installed in late July.
I am aware that Mickleham Primary School may have additional capital or maintenance requests. I can assure you that the infrastructure needs of all schools, including Mickleham Primary School, will be considered when determining priorities for the state-wide capital works program.
The Hon James Merlino MP
Minister for Education