LOCAL Members of Parliament, Harriet Shing (ALP), Melina Bath (Nat) and Brian Paynter (Lib) will next week be asked to present a petition signed by upwards of 2500 Bass Coast people to State Parliament.
The petition is calling on the State Government to finally fund the development of a new senior campus for the Wonthaggi Secondary College.
The Premier Daniel Andrews, who has already shown a personal interest in the project, and his Education Minister James Merlino, have already been emailed a copy of the signed petitions.
They’ll be well aware of the mounting pressure by the time the petition is tabled in Parliament.
The Federal Member for McMillan Russell Broadbent has asked to be included in the correspondence and will attempt to take it further at his level.
“We are in the process of collecting all the petitions and expect to have more than 2500 signatures, spanning an area from Phillip Island to Inverloch, so it’s certainly not just Wonthaggi,” said Acting Principal Darren Parker.
“It will go to the School Council meeting this week because they have to deal with it, but we have received a tremendous amount of support from all over.”
The Wonthaggi Business and Tourism Association and Wonthaggi Secondary College School Council jointly launched the petition last month.
Wonthaggi Business and Tourism Association Secretary Terry Earl said the response from the community has been overwhelming.
“They’re backing the school and the general feedback is that it’s a good thing and the community is saying ‘enough is enough.’ ”
“Everyone knows the school is totally outdated.”
Mr Parker said the amount of support the college had received from Ms Shing, Brian Paynter, Melina Bath and the other local MPs was extremely encouraging.
“Russell Broadbent is aware of the situation and also of the funding that has been allocated to Newhaven College by the Federal Government. This isn’t a competition for funding. In fact we’ve received support from Newhaven College people,” Mr Parker said.
“But it’s about being able to offer the level of facilities that they already enjoy. We want what’s best for our kids,” he said.
“It’s clear the community absolutely expects the commitment of the new school.”
And the community support, he said, was crucial.
Mr Earl echoed Mr Parker’s gratitude to Bass Coast residents and businesses.
“It’s a thank you to everyone who’s signed it and people who’ve put it in their business, everyone who’s gathered signatures,” Mr Earl said.
“It’s time for the community to stand up and they have. This is good for the community.
“People have said that I’m doing a great thing, but I’m just a part of it and that’s what we’ve all got to be.”
The McBride senior campus is five years away from being a century old. Students and teachers say they don’t want to be celebrating its 100th birthday.