Stunt draws attention to education demands


MLA John Quigley, Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts and Yanchep mother Kim Garbutt with local residents.
Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au   d449214
MLA John Quigley, Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts and Yanchep mother Kim Garbutt with local residents. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au d449214

Kim Garbutt, representing Yanchep Education Future Facebook group, put forward several motions at the City of Wanneroo’s electors AGM last Wednesday.

One, which she called a stunt before reading it out, called for the City to stop giving planning approval for subdivisions in Yanchep and surrounds until 2022.

“We asked them (councillors) to stop building any new houses until 2022,” she said.

“The reason why is that the Education Department is asking the community to wait for Year 12 until 2020.”

Ms Garbutt said the group had about 550 members, mostly parents, who were concerned about inadequate education facilities to meet the demands of a growing population.

Councillors and chief executive Daniel Simms were concerned about the feasiblity of her motion and re-worded it with Ms Garbutt’s consent to instead ask the City to help the community advocate for facilities.

Another motion that passed successfully asked the City to help the community campaign by providing statistical information about the number of children under 18 in Yanchep District High School’s catchment area.

It also asked for the number of houses already approved for construction in 2016 and 2017, and how many untitled blocks were planned within the catchment area.

Ms Garbutt said they also wanted to know the maximum potential number of families who would move into the area each year until 2022, and what developments were opening up.

Mayor Tracey Roberts said the City could provide that information for the parts of the catchment area within the City’s boundaries, but not for parts in the neighbouring Shire of Gingin.

Yanchep District High School caters for kindergartern to Year 10 and has separate intake areas for its junior and high school years. The juniors live in Yanchep south of Yanchep Beach Road, as well as in Eglinton.

However, the high school intake area for 2016 includes all of Yanchep, Two Rocks, Eglinton and part of the Shire of Gingin.

Ms Garbutt, who has children aged 14, 10 and 2, said her oldest son would have to go to Butler College for Year 11 and finish high school there.

She said many teenagers were pulling out of school after Year 10 because they thought it was too hard to get to college.

“Many Year 11 and 12 students from Yanchep have to take two buses to access schools in other suburbs in order to continue their secondary education,” she said.

“That is a waste of students’ valuable study time and an extra burden on families.”

Ms Garbutt said there should be more planning for education facilities that supported current students.

“It’s 2020, not 1920,” she said.

“We know how much the population will grow in coming years.

“It is important to plan for this growth to ensure that Yanchep’s beautiful and talented children have the best education opportunities.”

Concerned that families buying lots in Yanchep and Eglinton believed they could send their children to Yanchep Beach Primary School, Ms Garbutt said anyone living south of Yanchep Beach Road did not fall into that school’s catchment.

“There are a lot of people buying houses thinking there’s a new school coming,” she said.

“The department don’t want to think about it until the new high school is built in 2019, which means it won’t be until 2025 that we get an adequate primary school.”

Mrs Roberts said the mother of three spoke passionately at the electors’ AGM on January 27.

“Ms Garbutt shared the concerns of many parents who have clearly stated that years 11 and 12 should be offered as soon as possible to allow students a local education beyond Year 10, in order for children to have opportunities and choices to support their future career aspirations,” she said.

“The commitment shown by Ms Garbutt and Yanchep Education Future towards education is very clear.

“The City will consider Ms Garbutt’s motion on a potential advocacy partnership at the ordinary council meeting on March 1.”

Also read: Promise of new high school for Yanchep.