Port Lincoln High build continues

Mr TRELOAR (Flinders) (11:28): I rise today to comment on the 64th report of the Public Works Committee, the final report on the Port Lincoln High School redevelopment project. This is something that the Port Lincoln school community and I, as the local member, have been working towards for many years. In fact, even under the previous Labor government I was approached by the school community, and particularly the then principal Mr Tony Green, to begin efforts to talk with the then government about providing some funds to Port Lincoln High School for refurbishment. Top of mind were the temporary transportable classrooms that were placed at Port Lincoln High School some 40 years ago. They had well and truly outlived their usefulness, and they were at the stage where they were quite dilapidated and, amongst everything else, had little or no air conditioning.

Time progresses, and this project was actually announced in October 2017, towards the end of the previous government, and of course it is a project that the current government is pleased to be able to support. It is a $15 million project, which is a big spend in a relatively small regional centre like Port Lincoln.

Currently, Port Lincoln High School, which is the largest state school in the seat of Flinders, accommodates some 720 students, but next year will come the time when year 7s are moving into high school, a transition that in my mind is well overdue. For many of the schools on Eyre Peninsula and in the seat of Flinders, it is not going to make a whole lot of difference because most of them are area schools, but in the City of Port Lincoln we certainly have a number of primary schools that feed into the Port Lincoln High School.

Current enrolments are around 720 and the redevelopment will take potential accommodation up to 1,000 students. The build is underway, and it is a very exciting project. My plan is to visit it hopefully with the Minister for Education in the next few weeks, so we look forward to doing that. The current proposal includes:

construction of a new year 7 building with general learning areas, withdrawal spaces, breakout spaces and amenities;

construction of a new specialist building with art and language learning centres, teacher preparation spaces and storage, as well as a special school annexe including a classroom, withdrawal spaces, amenities and a secure outdoor area;

construction of a new home economics and school canteen building;

construction of a new physical education weights room, which I look forward to seeing;

refurbishment of tech studies building 9, including a new store and project office extension under the existing verandah;

minor refurbishments to buildings 20 and 28—those more familiar with the school than I am will know which buildings they are;

demolition of aged transportable buildings, of which there are a dozen, as well as four sheds on site;

upgrading site paving and landscaping to ensure the redeveloped areas of the site are fully accessible; and

provision of all-important car parking.

I am assuming that some of the demolition includes the removal of asbestos, because, invariably, those older school buildings contain some of that.

It is an exciting and much-needed project, as I said. My congratulations to school principals, Mr Tony Green, Mr Greg Barry and Mr Todd George, who have worked tirelessly over the years towards getting this project up. There has been support from staff and school council, and broader community input has of course gone into this.

Work is underway, which will include demolition, new works and refurbishment. I look forward to seeing the progress of the project in the next few weeks. I would like to thank the member for Kavel, as the Presiding Member of the committee, and the committee for their consideration of what is a very important project in Port Lincoln and the seat of Flinders.

Mr CREGAN (Kavel) (11:33): In closing the debate, I wish to acknowledge the member for Flinders, who is closely familiar with the needs of his community and has been a very determined and passionate advocate for this project over many years.

He has worked with principals Messrs Green, Barry and George to ensure that the school and the school governing council were closely engaged with the education department, also providing the advocacy, support and encouragement for which he is well known to his community, the school and its governing council. He is well known for that not just within this school community but of course across his entire community.

This is a significant moment for the school community and, as the member for Flinders has said, it is also an exciting and much-needed project. I also wish to acknowledge the governing councils that have worked over the years to ensure that there was a focus on this project, but I think that it is appropriate and right that we acknowledge the member for Flinders, who has seen this project through and ensured that it remained front of mind with education department officials and with education ministers over time.

Motion carried.

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