Broken promises

Responding to questions from Labor MPs, Education Minister Peter Collier said the government had deferred $10.5 million worth of works at the school announced last year.

‘The 2013-14 Budget focused on savings and reform initiatives, including a review of major infrastructure projects and the State’s asset investment program,’ Mr Collier said.

‘As a result, the capital works planned for Yanchep District High School have been deferred. These works will be considered as part of future budget processes.’

Butler MLA John Quigley said the school was built for a student population half its size and the area population was ‘exploding’.

‘This is a betrayal by (the Premier Colin) Barnett of the Yanchep District High School community,’ he said.

‘To make the promise to do up the school before the election and to cancel it after the people have voted is disgraceful.’

North Metropolitan MLC Ljiljanna Ravlich posed questions to the minister ” also a North Metropolitan MLC ” through the Upper House last week, on Mr Quigley’s behalf, asking him why work had not started and if he would confirm the new facilities would be provided.

Mr Collier said the government was committed to providing education facilities in the area, and had recognised growth, opening Butler College this year, and building primary schools in Yanchep and Butler, due to open in 2014.

Yanchep District had 448 full-time students in 2009 and this year the school roll reached 802.

School principal Alan Curtis said the change to the budget was disappointing.

‘We are obviously disappointed, as is our whole school community, but we will remain positive and continue to offer an outstanding education to students at this school,’ Mr Curtis said. ‘I will of course continue to discuss our school’s needs with the Department (of Education) with a view to reviving this project through future funding should it become available.’

The November 29 announcement included $40 million for 27 district high schools in WA, with Yanchep to receive the biggest share. Mr Quigley said about $20 million of that funding was cut.

As reported last year, the $10.5 million would have provided new facilities, including two science laboratories, two design and technology workshops, an arts studio, drama room, dance rooms, and media studio.

Mr Quigley raised the issue at a Two Rocks Yanchep Residents Association meeting on Monday night and a TRYRA member said the funding cut was bad for staff morale at the school.

Mr Quigley said he had started distributing a petition.