Calls for transparency on new Subiaco school proposal

We Need a High School members Mandy Twomey, Katherine Clements and Hilary Pinerua.
We Need a High School members Mandy Twomey, Katherine Clements and Hilary Pinerua.

SOME parents want more than “scant” information on estimated populations, costs and timing of the State Government-proposed high school at Kitchener Park, Subiaco.

“What’s the base population level they are going off, what’s the breakdown of the demographic, and why are some western suburbs missing?” We Need a High School member and Doubleview resident Katherine Clements asked.

The group of 1200 parents say transparency is needed about not using a previously proposed City Beach High School site, but they are not against the Subiaco proposal if it can open in time for first term, 2020.

But their concerns were ignited when Premier Mark McGowan responded to their queries by providing a table called ‘2016-2026 Project Percentage growth’ explaining a need for 2000 students at the two-hectare Subiaco site that could also serve inner-city electorates.

The chart showed non-defined population changes in City Beach (less than -0.1), small increases in nearby Wembley Downs and Churchlands (both about 0.12), but increases in Perth CBD (0.5), North Perth (0.16) and Leederville (0.14) in 20 years. Mrs Clements said no graph or information was provided to explain the figures, which parents questioned because Education Department advice was assumed to be similar when the City Beach site was chosen by the previous Liberal government.

She said the group would continue to lobby the Government to keep the City Beach site until 2026 in case the Subiaco school could not solve the classroom pressure in the western suburbs, which includes Churchlands Senior High School’s 2500 students that could increase to 3200 by 2020.

A spokeswoman for Education Minister Sue Ellery said the table’s drops and increases were projected population growth from 2016 to 2019.

“So in regards to the Perth figure of 0.5, that is the 2026 population (56,620) less the 2016 population (37,490) divided by the 2016 population (37,490) which equals 0.5, and as a percentage that is 51 per cent,” the spokeswoman said.

Areas south-west of Subiaco were not in the table because they were in Shenton’s College catchment and the Subiaco school would be “on track” to open in 2020.

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