Norwood Secondary College - Ryall slams Minister

Ms RYALL (Ringwood) — My request is directed to the Minister for Education. The action I seek is for the minister to join me on a visit to Norwood Secondary College to hear from the principal, Andrew Sloane, school council members, parents and students. The minister, when in opposition, visited Norwood Secondary College in the middle of 2014 to look at the facilities. What he would have seen at the time was a school built in 1958, with run‑down facilities, extraordinarily old portables, science and arts facilities that are in an appalling state, as well as no modern learning spaces. Indeed Norwood is a replica of my old high school, and the last significant work done on the school was on a commonwealth library back in Gough Whitlam’s era.

Just recently the school was told it would receive $200 000 — less than $2 per student — towards a bit of tidying up and a bit of maintenance in an attempt to spruce it up to a level where it could be told that it was in an acceptable state. That is insulting to the 1100 students who attend Norwood Secondary College. The last time Labor was in power it left behind a $420 million maintenance backlog on our state schools. The minister will also recall from when Labor was last in government the $100 million Maroondah education precinct plan. It is interesting that back then Labor considered that $100 million needed to be invested in Maroondah, but this time around that is not the case. In a press release published by Labor on 15 July 2014 — one of its many press releases; and I notice members from the Labor side jeering, which is disrespectful to my community — the Premier says:

Only Labor will rebuild and develop the schools in the east that are under so much pressure — we’re helping parents and teachers and we’re putting our kids first.

Unfortunately the 1100 students at Norwood Secondary College are not being put first in this instance.

There are further press releases. One dated 5 November 2014 says, ‘Under Labor, education will be more than just a word’. That is the not the case for the students at Norwood. Another press release published on the same day says, ‘A Labor government will be there for every Victorian parent and every Victorian child …’. That is not the case for Norwood students. Another press release of 27 October says ‘Labor will fix our schools, because kids can’t get a first‑rate education in a second‑rate classroom’.

I invite the Minister for Education to join me to look at the second‑rate classrooms at Norwood Secondary College and to start to develop a plan forward for this school to transform its education spaces. I ask the minister to come into the chamber to accept this adjournment matter and to show some respect for my community and the students at Norwood.