Norwood Secondary College - Needs Funding

Ms RYALL (Ringwood) — Norwood Secondary College is a school of 1100 students in my electorate of Ringwood. The school is in need of redevelopment. The former coalition government committed $7.5 million for a gym centre that would also serve as a performing arts centre and a science, technology, engineering and mathematics centre.

Because the school has 1100 secondary students, it is very apparent — and should be very apparent to the Minister for Education — that a two‑court gym facility is needed. Yesterday in this house the minister spoke of Tucker Road Bentleigh Primary School and a gym that the taxpayer is funding for it, as allocated by him. That primary school is much smaller than Norwood Secondary College — indeed it is half the size — yet both are getting a single‑court gym. How can that be?

What we need to see is the minister being as serious about and as interested in the needs of the students of Norwood Secondary College as he is about the students of Tucker Road Bentleigh Primary School. For him to place the same priority on the students in my community in the electorate of Ringwood, what is needed is an additional $1.6 million for Norwood Secondary College to provide the students with a sporting facility that enables this very large school community, with a population that is stable into the future, to be accommodated. To have 1100 students vying for a single court is unfair. It is out of touch, and it does not place the same priority on the students of Norwood that the minister has placed on other schools.

The right thing to do, the fair thing to do and the responsible thing to do would be to ensure that in the budget to be handed down next week Norwood Secondary College receives full funding to build a double‑court gymnasium that meets the needs of the school community.