Willetton SHS upgrade up in the air

Willetton Senior High School at stage two of its capital works program.
Willetton Senior High School at stage two of its capital works program.

THERE is doubt over Willetton Senior High School’s stage three rebuild, according to Riverton MLA Dr Mike Nahan.

In a letter to Dr Nahan dated April 26, Education Minister Sue Ellery said the timing of the stage three capital works at the school was under review and any changes would be announced as part of the 2017-18 budget.

Dr Nahan said the minister’s response was disappointing and that local residents should be alarmed.

He said stage three of the rebuild included an additional learning block comprising 24 classrooms, three incidental learning areas, student toilets, store rooms, staff car parking and landscaping.

“$11.78m was in the Liberal 16/17 budget for stage three of the rebuild – it was a done deal,” Dr Nahan said.

“I suspect when the budget is handed down in September we will see that funding has been removed from schools such as Willetton to help fund Labor’s pork-barrelling exercise, with funds redirected to key election seats.”

Dr Nahan said the school’s leadership had highlighted the importance of the stage three rebuild given the school’s enrolment pressures.

“As we all know, Willetton SHS is a popular school due to its success, and it would be a travesty if the school community is left with a half rebuilt school,” he said.

“I urge Minister Ellery to support her local residents, and guarantee the funding will remain so the rebuild continues as planned.”

He said when the former Liberal government announced in 2012 it would completely rebuild Willetton SHS, Ms Ellery commended the government, and then attacked it for not investing in other schools like Rossmoyne and Lynwood senior high schools.

Dr Nahan said a total of $52 million had been invested in the school since 2012 for the first two stages, as well as for new classrooms as part of the Year 7 transition.

Ms Ellery said the McGowan Government had to take a careful and cautious approach to financial management.

“The previous Treasurer Dr Nahan wrecked the state’s finances and as a result all capital works are under review,” she said.

“If there are any changes, they will be announced as part of the Budget process.

“Willetton Senior High School is one of the top secondary schools in the State and I have always been complimentary of the school and the work of the principal and staff,” she said.

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