Nunawading Primary School Site

Ms RYALL (Ringwood) — My request is to the Minister for Finance, and the action I seek is to ensure that the City of Whitehorse is provided with negotiating terms for the former Nunawading Primary School site on a restricted community use basis, offering a significant discount for our local community to retain the site. The City of Whitehorse needs to be able to make a decision on whether it will or will not purchase the former site so that our community is able to have some certainty about what will happen with the site, which is in a prominent position on Springvale Road in Nunawading.

The former Nunawading Primary School was closed by the Labor government when it was last in office, and the school community merged with the former Springview Primary School in Junction Road, Nunawading. The site was identified by the Department of Education and Training as being surplus to its needs. It was then declared surplus to government needs when all other government departments declined to request the land for their needs. In 2014 the former government cleared the land of the old and unused buildings and cleared the graffiti from the heritage building that was the original primary school building. I also sought for the roof to be patched to prevent water damage to the interior of the original building and have fencing put around the building to prevent further vandalism and graffiti. Unfortunately, regardless of the fencing, the building is being vandalised again, with new graffiti appearing regularly.

The community of the Ringwood electorate seeks the preservation of the land for community use. Many people want the land used for sporting facilities so that our local children have somewhere to play sport, which is vital for learning life skills and maintaining fitness. The Nunawading Vikings Basketball Club, local table tennis organisation and netball and other sporting organisations are very keen to see this outcome, as their needs for facilities are unmet locally. The Nunawading Vikings has over 100 teams and yet only has two courts in what was originally a basketball training facility. It has to spend significant amounts of money on hiring courts, many outside our municipality. Ultimately this means it is more expensive for the club to function, and increased costs affect fees for families. I would appreciate the minister giving our community certainty so councillors of the City of Whitehorse can make a decision as to whether they will buy the site for the community at the discounted price on a restricted community‑use basis. If they choose not to, I request that the minister then explain to the community what will happen to the land.