By Michael Giles
IF THE information we are getting from behind the scenes is correct, and we are convinced that it is, Wonthaggi will get the funding it deserves for a new senior campus of the secondary college and also a multi-court basketball stadium.
And that funding will come in a matter of weeks, we’re told, if not sooner, certainly not months.
When it does come, as anticipated, what we don’t want to see is any further political points scoring on either side.
Certainly it’s kudos to the government of the day, the Andrews Government, for finally being the ones to allocate the money to Wonthaggi, after both Labor and the Coalition had promised and failed in the past.
And Gippsland’s only Labor MP, Harriet Shing, will have played a key role in delivering the ultimate result when, as expected, the funding comes through.
Not forgetting that the political dynamic of local MPs such as Brian Paynter and Melina Bath, putting pressure on the government, has also succeeded in keeping the pot boiling on this one.
But everyone has done a great job coming together to support the Wonthaggi Secondary College, and when the funding is announced, we can all afford to celebrate without rancour.
That includes almost 3000 people who signed the petition.
The Wonthaggi Business and Tourism Association got on board when the campaign was losing traction. The Bass Coast Shire Council has backed it all the way, albeit with a hiccup over the high-ball stadium earlier in the year, but especially with Mayor Cr Pam Rothfield at the helm. And the school council at WSC has kept chins up at the school when there have been disappointments.
But it seems as if it’s onwards and upwards for the Wonthaggi Secondary College now with a funding announcement expected in weeks if not days and the project virtually shovel-ready when the announcement does come.
Wonthaggi and the wider Bass Coast area is growing strongly, at a rate of more than 2% last year we’re told, and providing excellent education and sporting facilities is a requirement if we are to support that growth.
If the school and the stadium get squared away, the shire will have to get on and see that there are adequate building blocks available now to continue the momentum.
While the shire has rezoned sufficient land to provide for much-needed housing sites in town, for one reason or another, developers aren’t getting on with the task of subdividing that land and releasing it as new residential sites.