West Swan MLA calls for school on vacant Bennett Springs land

West Swan MLA Rita Saffioti and education spokeswoman Sue Ellery at the site.
West Swan MLA Rita Saffioti and education spokeswoman Sue Ellery at the site.

WEST Swan MLA Rita Saffioti insists there is a need for a new school on a vacant site in Bennett Springs, but the Education Department has ruled out selling the land to a private operator – or building a government school on it.

Ms Saffioti has been campaigning to build a public school on the Government-owned site on the corner of Bennett Springs Drive and Crystal Turn for eight years.

But the Education Department ruled out selling the land because of the lack of demand for a new school.

Ms Saffioti said she conducted a survey in 2015, which showed support for a school.

“We continuously receive numerous complaints about the state of the land … it is unkept and many residents are concerned about issues such as snakes,” she said.

“If the Government continues to have no plans to build a school on the site, then it should clear the land and put it up for private sale.

“The site has been neglected for too long and should be put to use for the local community.”

Ms Saffioti said there were enough students in the area for a new school. Education Minister Peter Collier said it would be irresponsible of a government to build a school, which was not required.

“The Department of Education owns the future primary school site in Bennett Springs on the corner of Bennett Springs Drive and Crystal Turn,” he said.

“Fire breaks have been cleared on the land, and on September 10, slashing of the long grass and clean-up works were completed.

“More broadly, nearby primary schools Caversham, East Beechboro and Ellenbrook are well within their capacity, and have plenty of space available.”