Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan): My constituency question is directed to the Honourable James Merlino MP, Minister for Education and Minister for Mental Health. My question relates to the portfolio responsibility of education. Western Metropolitan Region is home to some of the fastest growing regions in the country. However, there is a lack of school infrastructure in some parts of the west. Williams Landing is a suburb with many young and multicultural families. Currently the increasing population of Williams Landing is continuing to put pressure on the schools of surrounding suburbs in the inner west. Parents in Williams Landing have to send their kids to Truganina, Laverton, Point Cook or Seabrook for education. I am aware of new schools being built in the surrounding suburbs. However, this does not resolve the problems being faced by the residents of Williams Landing. Education is a right for every student, and the Victorian government has a duty to provide access to schools for all students in Victoria. My question to the minister is: can the minister advise me when the government will commit to building a school in Williams Landing in my electorate?
James Merlino, MP, Deputy Premier, Minister for Education, Minister for Mental Health
The Andrews Labor Government is committed to growing educational opportunities for all Victorians. The Government has invested more than $12.8 billion over the past eight years to build new schools and modernise existing educational facilities across Victoria. The Government will continue with this record funding and open 100 new schools over eight years (2019-2026).
The 2022-23 State Budget invested $1.8 billion in school infrastructure. This included an investment of more than $1 billion in new school projects and school upgrades to accommodate enrolment growth across the state. In the way of new school projects in Wyndham, the State Budget provided funding to acquire land for one school in the Tarneit area. Funding was also allocated for the construction of seven new schools/campuses to open in 2024. The interim names of these schools are Black Forest East Primary School, Lollypop Creek Secondary School, Lollypop Creek Specialist School, Riverdale Secondary School, Tarneit North Primary School and Truganina North Primary School. Additional funding was allocated for the construction of Truganina North Secondary School.
The previous 2021-22 State Budget invested $1.6 billion in school infrastructure. This included an investment of more than $1 billion in new school projects and school upgrades to accommodate enrolment growth across the state. In the way of new school projects, the 2021-22 State Budget provided funding to acquire land for two schools near Point Cook South and one school in Truganina.
Funding was also allocated for the construction of four new schools to open in 2023 and one new school to open in 2024. The interim names of these schools are Holyoake Parade Primary School, Lollypop Creek Primary School, Riverdale East Primary School, Tarneit Missen House Primary School and Truganina North Secondary School.
The Department of Education and Training will continue to review population forecasts and the capacity of existing schools to accommodate growth in the Williams Landing area as part of its state-wide planning for schools.