Mr RICHARDSON (Mordialloc) — I raise a matter for the Minister for Education, and the action I seek is for the minister to meet with the principal, assistant principals and school council of Mordialloc College to hear about the important work they are undertaking to improve the school’s performance and to discuss Labor’s $4.5 million funding commitment.
Every student has the right to a quality education, and it is important for governments to put education at the forefront of their agenda. This Labor government has set out to make Victoria the education state. This not only sends a strong message about our priorities over the coming parliamentary term but also involves enacting the required legislation and delivering the investment to make this a reality.
We have a bold agenda. Labor has already commenced its restoration of funding for our TAFE system, after $1.2 billion in cuts from the coalition government. Labor has committed to invest $530 million in our government schools and $120 million in our Catholic schools, after the previous government cut around $200 million a year on average from its capital works budget.
I am proud of Labor’s $4.5 million commitment to Mordialloc College. The funding will allow the school to undertake stage 1 of its building program, which will include construction of a new indoor basketball facility and a new performing arts centre. These are vital improvements for the more than 600 students, and importantly, these facilities will be available to the wider community.
Mordialloc College is a fundamental part of our community. I was pleased to attend its 90th anniversary last October and hear what the school means to students and teachers of yesteryear. It was a pleasure to join the school community at its graduation and awards ceremony in December, which I was proud to have as my first official event as the member for Mordialloc.
I would like to acknowledge the advocacy of principal Michelle Roberts. I hear nothing but positive things about the school whether it be about the select entry accelerated learning program, the results achieved year on year or the strong foundation, culture and values underpinned by the notions of personal best, integrity, respect and responsibility. I would also like to acknowledge the work of school council president Nicky Hersey, a good friend of mine, who wears many hats in our local community and does not miss an opportunity to promote her school.
It is worth noting that when Labor was last in government Mordialloc College completed its master plan for modernisation. Although that was disappointingly shelved by the coalition government, I am pleased that Labor is back to continue the work and get on with the job. In conclusion, I request that the Minister for Education visit Mordialloc College with me to hear from the school community and discuss Labor’s important funding commitment.