Premier commits to delivering super school funding

By Ashlea Witoslawski

A visit from Spring Street would not be complete for any politician without a conversation about Shepparton's controversial new super school.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews visited Shepparton High School yesterday to discuss the Shepparton Education Plan and the upcoming school merger with key stakeholders.

Mr Andrews rejected community concerns about a lack of funding, confirming the State Government was committed to delivering the plan in full.

“The money will be provided as and when it is needed so there is no need to provide addition funding this year because construction will not require money beyond what was provided in the previous budget," he said.

“Ultimately, you provide the money when you need it otherwise the money will simply be sitting there doing nothing when it could be purposed to build a project that is ready.”

“The treasurer would be upset if I started to deliver next year's budget here at the Shepparton hospital, that I'll leave for him to do.”

$21.5 million has been allocated to the Shepparton Education Plan so far, with an estimated $100 million needed for the build.

“We've got a situation where NAPLAN results are 20 per cent below the average, that is unacceptable, I will not settle for that.”

State Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed said she was positive about the future of the plan after discussions with the premier and other key stakeholders.

“I was encouraged that the Premier Dan Andrews came to Shepparton High School and held a long discussion with Principal Genevieve Simpson, Mayor Kim O'Keeffe, school council representatives and various other stakeholders in the Shepparton Education Plan," she said.

“They were fruitful talks and I was heartened by the Premier’s understanding of the community’s concerns.

“He left us in no doubt this plan is a top priority of the Victorian Government, as are addressing any issues that have arisen or may arise in the future.”

Committee for Greater Shepparton chief executive officer Sam Birrell agreed with Ms Sheed's comments.

He said he was particularly pleased to be involved in a positive discussion about the priorities moving forward.

“It's been the committees position that we need much better educational outcomes for our region," Mr Birrell said.

“Looking at the design and seeing this state of the art facility it will be as a high quality a school as anything in Victoria and that's what the kids in our region deserve.”

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