Mr RICHARDSON (Mordialloc) — I raise an adjournment matter for the Minister for Education. The action I seek is for the minister to come with me to visit Yarrabah School in Aspendale, a specialist development school in my electorate, and to talk to the school community about the master plan that was committed to in this year’s Victorian budget.
It joins with a number of schools in my electorate that have benefited in the last couple of years, and Yarrabah School is a special example. The school has grown by 700 per cent over the past two decades, increasing from 19 students in 1992 to well over 160 students now, as well as some 60 early childhood students. The school has nearly 100 staff on site caring for well over 200 children, and it has not received any significant funding from the state government for many years. That is about to change, and it was a proud moment to see that Yarrabah was getting that master plan funding that will end portables being plonked on site and look to a longer term plan for that school.
I have to take issue with some of the comments from the member for Evelyn during her contribution to the debate on the appropriation bill. She made some comments about and politicised the government’s response to supporting autism. The suggestion that those support packages and the support and assistance for children and their families is somehow a political thing is absolutely absurd. When you go on a bit of a rant about the budget and start attacking it and politicising such an important issue in that way, saying things that are not based on any fact and in fact show a complete lack of understanding of what has actually been committed to in this budget, it is absolutely disgraceful.
I think the member for Evelyn should be cautious with her comments when she is trying to politicise something as important as support for children with autism, because our special needs boost in this budget is unprecedented. It is important and delivers significant investment for 20 specialist schools in our patch.
In conclusion, I ask the Minister for Education to come out to my electorate, visit Yarrabah School and talk to them about the important master plan that they are undertaking.