It is no coincidence that, to great fanfare, Premier Dan Andrews made a surprise visit to Cowes on September 7 to pledge a new junior campus for Cowes/San Remo.
The race for Bass according to Reason’s numbers man is becoming very tight and a major battle ground for the upcoming election in November.
I wouldn’t be surprised if one or the other side will pledge an A&E hospital for Phillip Island before this election is over.
Though the junior campus is a welcome announcement and will make a big difference for families with younger teenagers, this still leaves the senior years students having to make the long haul to Wonthaggi High.
It is now important at this early stage that a suitable site in San Remo is chosen that can be developed into a multilevel high school in time.
This school can service families from the Waterline communities from Granville to Kilcunda and the island.
The argument has been put to me that by centralising the upper levels in the new high school in Wonthaggi, economies of scale come into play and more specialist subjects can be taught.
I have no problem with Wonthaggi High offering specialist subjects and I have no doubt that there will be students that will undertake these subjects from all over the district.
But what about the other 95 per cent of students who want to complete the mainstream subjects in Years 9-12?
Is it fair that these students are forced to go the Wonthaggi? Does Wonthaggi need this extra overcrowding?
My biggest fear is that a site will be chosen with the best of intentions and over the years with successive governments the senior years school will go further and further on the back burner.
The Waterline communities and the Island only gets what it needs during election time and if the polling is tight.
I am afraid the pressing need for land from more and more people moving to San Remo/Phillip Island will result with the earmarked site being sold off for residential development.
This is what happened to the site allotted for the aquatic centre in Cowes. Today that site is an Aldi supermarket.
Do it once and do it right. Plan conscientiously for a Years 9-12 public high school in San Remo.
Ron Bauer, candidate for Bass.