OPPOSITION Leader Mark McGowan has promised $50 million to upgrade and improve the 50-year-old facilities atBalcatta Senior High School, if elected.
Mr McGowan and Balcatta Labor candidate David Michael made the announcement at the school yesterday, as part of a plan to improve education infrastructure in WA.
The proposal is touted to create 178 jobs and will feature a “modernisation program” which will take place in consultation with the community.
The project will be funded using unallocated funds in the State Budget beginning in 2017-18.
Mr McGowan said Balcatta SHS was an older school that needed significant improvement.
“As a father, I want to make sure that all of our students get to go to the very best schools across Western Australia,” he said.
“So, under WA Labor Government, we are going to spend $50 million making sure Balcatta SHS once again becomes a state-of-the-art school, meeting the needs of the Balcatta community.
“Currently, it is a 50-year-old school, its facilities are tired and run-down and it is very important that this community knows that they can send their children to this school and have the very best education and facilities, the best upgrades possible.”
Mr McGowan said the suburb attracted more infill so it was important to ensure Balcatta SHS could cater for more students.
Balcatta MLA Chris Hatton, also a member of the school’s board, said WA Liberal had been working on plans to invest in the school.
“I have been working with Balcatta Senior High School for four years and I have been working with the Liberal Government to get investment into the school,” he said.
“Recently I highlighted the need to transition the old rundown home economics building into a modern food and technology centre…the Liberal-National government committed over $400,000 to this investment.
“Furthermore, over $60,000 was invested for replacement floor coverings and furniture, roof and gutter repairs, new pathway and new patio at the Balcatta SHS.
“We continue to invest in our public schools in the Balcatta Electorate and I can confirm that there will be continued commitments for the teachers and students of Balcatta SHS.”
Mr Hatton said the party announced in September that it will invest in Balcatta and Carine senior high schools.
“(Balcatta) has got around about 600 students and it could cater for another probably 300 at least but it has not had the right programs and the right investment put in place,” he said.
“(It) cannot be just an investment of ‘x’ million dollars but you have got to have a plan.”
Mr Michael, also a City of Stirling councillor, said WA Labor’s proposal was a win for the school and local community.
“Teachers and students have been doing a great job in these aging facilities but it is important for students to learn and staff to teach in the best possible environment,” he said.