Wednesday, 23 June 2021
Mr NEWBURY (Brighton) (19:14):
My Adjournment is for the Minister for Education, and the action I seek is for the minister to step in and invest real funding into the future of Elwood College in Elwood.
Elwood College and its neighbouring primary school are the heart of Elwood. It really is as simple as that.
The schools are not only the heart of learning but places for recreation and a central point for social engagement, and both have been the heart of my Elwood community for decades.
Elwood College is just over 60 years old. Much of the college is in original form. The college currently has 850 students and almost 50 international students enrolled. The college is big, vibrant and an education hub.
One of the most used parts of the college is their theatre, a theatre that has hosted hundreds of creative productions and thousands of community group events. In fact, roughly 70 per cent of use is community use, so if you live in Elwood you have almost certainly visited the theatre.
And it is much the same for the adjacent gym. Both are loved to the point of being worn right through.
And you will understand, Deputy Speaker, there are only so many ways you can affix bandaids over well-loved spaces. In fact, close to $1 million worth of maintenance works are needed at the College.
One of the most pressing maintenance needs is the gymnasium roof. The estimated cost of those works is $200,000, and that maintenance need has left the school in a real dilemma. Does the school invest in needed maintenance works or will the Government step up and do the right thing and properly invest in the future of Elwood?
The College has an incredible vision for the future, a vision to rebuild their existing theatre and gymnasium as a sports, recreation and arts hub they are calling the Phoenix Theatre.
As I have set out to the Minister before, the centre would include development of a new competition-compliant multiline netball-sized indoor court with spectator seating, change rooms and toilets, a recreation dance rehearsal studio, multipurpose recreation rooms, court and theatre foyers, dressing rooms and a refurbished theatre. The sports hub would include an indoor netball facility and outdoor basketball courts.
The school has completed detailed costings for their vision and estimates a total $15 million cost.
I call on the Minister to stop investing politically, do the right thing for Elwood and fund the project.