West Swan MLA claims State Govt neglecting Swan Growth Corridor

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti.
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti.

WEST Swan MLA Rita Saffioti has slammed the State Liberal Government, claiming it has neglected the Swan Growth Corridor again.

Ms Saffioti said the lack of funding commitments by the Government to new schools in the northeast corridor was disappointing.

“Despite the State Government releasing a planning document for the growth corridor in 2009, they have done nothing to provide certainty for students, parents and teachers,” the Opposition transport spokeswoman said.

“The Liberal Government has ignored the needs of new suburbs across the metropolitan area.

“Under a Labor Government we were building eight new primary schools each year, currently the Liberal Government is only funding four (new primary schools each year).”

However, Minister for Education Peter Collier said Ms Saffioti’s claims were without foundation.

“Since 2008, we have built 41 new schools and 15 replacement schools,” the Minister said.

“Between 2017 and 2020, 14 new primary schools will open, along with seven new secondary schools.

“This is a billion dollar investment.”

Ms Saffioti said recent changes to the Developer Contribution schemes – that showed an increased cost to landowners – were a result of the government ignoring the need for new schools in the area.

In Dayton, developer contributions will increase by $9776 per hectare ($541 per dwelling) and in Brabham by $14,525 ($988 per dwelling).

“The lack of any funding certainty for the proposed schools creates enormous uncertainty for homeowners in the area and is now pushing up costs for landowners,” she said.

“The State Government planning document identified a number of new primary schools in Brabham, Dayton and Caversham, but the Government has not funded any of the new schools in the area.”

Minister Collier said a number of school sites had been identified in the urban growth corridor in the City of Swan, but were not justified.

“The reality is they (new schools) are not yet needed,” he said.

“Caversham, East Beechboro and Ellenbrook are well within their capacity and it would be irresponsible to build new schools when there is capacity at existing schools in the area.

“The Department of Education will continue monitoring population projections in new developments, and schools will be built when the demand is there.”