Wednesday, 22 February 2023
Canterbury Primary School
Table of contents
Canterbury Primary School
John PESUTTO (Hawthorn – Leader of the Opposition) (19:00): (51) The action I seek tonight is that the Minister for Education join me in visiting Canterbury Primary School to inspect their works and listen to their concerns about the need for capital upgrades. Canterbury Primary School is a school I have had the pleasure of working with over many years. It is a school, as the name suggests, located in Canterbury. It is a school which has a strong community and active community around it and a school which is very proud of the programs it delivers, in particular the parliamentary and civics program that it delivers. I would like before I get onto some of the details just to acknowledge the great work of the teachers and parents who conduct that program and the students of course.
The challenges that Canterbury Primary School encounter relate largely to the fact that it has been neglected for many years. In fact it has been over 25 years, I am advised by the school in my recent meetings with them, since they have received capital funding of any significant amount. This is not money for a lick of paint; this is money that the school desperately needs for things like asbestos, mould, ventilation, lighting, pests, roof leaks and structural corrosion, which jeopardise the health and safety of the students, staff and community which rely on these buildings. Let us remember that it is not just the school community which uses these buildings but also the wider community which uses them. I had the pleasure of having a number of meetings with them last year, and on one occasion I remember asking a couple of students why they did not want to study in one of the particular portables. They said, in front of a large group of people I was taking through the school, that they did not like it because it was too cold in winter and too hot in summer.
Since being elected back into this place I have had contact from the school and in particular Mr Stephen Pickles, the vice-president of the Canterbury Primary School council, who whilst acknowledging the commitment my colleagues and I made of $7.8 million towards the school’s master plan – a commitment that was not matched by the government, certainly at the time – are asking for my help as their local member to see if I can persuade the government to match that commitment. I think in fairness to the school it has missed out for a quarter of a century, and like any other school to which parents send their kids, particularly this being a government school, they are entitled to the basic necessities that a school in 2023 should boast. So I hope and trust that the Minister for Education will take up my request to visit the school with me.