Home Featured News Warracknabeal schools gain a voice in Parliament

Warracknabeal schools gain a voice in Parliament

• FINISH: Member for Western Victoria Stuart Grimley, meets with “Finish What You Started” Campaigners Grace Dart, Tracy Dart and Karly Kirk at Warracknabeal Primary School.

STATE politicians visited Warracknabeal Primary School to assess the quality of the education facilities on Tuesday.
The “Finish What You Started” action group in Warracknabeal reached out to Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party’s Member for Western Victoria Stuart Grimley to get their concerns voiced in Parliament.
Mr Grimley toured the school with members of the action group after speaking with the Warracknabeal Primary School Principal Ben Tait.
Mr Grimley said after his visit, immediate action needs to be taken to ensure funding is secured for the education precinct for the next State Budget.
“The tour of the Warracknabeal Education Precinct was quite shocking, there are holes and cracks in every corner,” Mr Grimley said.
“The facilities are undoubtedly outdated; no air conditioner, no fan, no purpose-built completed arts or science spaces to learn in.
“It is in desperate need of an upgrade.”
Mr Grimley’s arrival comes after the State Government announced $515 million towards Victorian schools maintenance.
He said their party will be continuing to advocate in State Parliament to finish this project.
“The governments’ announcement of half-a-billion dollars in schools maintenance funding is great, but I definitely sympathise with frustrations of parents in Warracknabeal when their school is falling apart,” he said.
“Our regional and rural kids deserve so much more than what they are currently learning in.
“I will be fighting in parliament to have stage two funded in next years’ State Budget.”
Mr Grimley has been travelling through Western Victoria meeting with regional councils to get a feel for community issues for the last week.
Before becoming a state member for Western Victoria Mr Grimley served in the Victorian Police Force as a detective for Moorabool in the Criminal Investigations Unit.
He was a police officer in Western Australia for six years before transferring to Victoria Police where he served for the last 10 years.
Prior to his service in the police force he was a teacher and principal in Western Australia, three years of which he lived and taught in remote Aboriginal communities.
Mr Grimley said his background is what directed him to politics.
He said the experience he gained in the field of teaching allowed him to empathise with the issues regional schools face.
“That’s another reason why I’m pretty committed to the Warracknabeal precinct, because I know the frustrations you can go through as a school administrator,” Mr Grimley said.
The “Finish What You Started” campaign manager Karly Kirk has two children studying at the Warracknabeal Primary School.
Mrs Kirk said she feels like the State Government have forgotten about the education precinct.
“We reached out to Stuart because we were looking for someone to be an advocate on our behalf because no one was listening,” Mrs Kirk said.
Mother of two Tracy Dart is also a member of the campaign, she said the completion of the project is necessary to ensure a bright future for the current and future students.
“I’ve got a young daughter that will be coming in to school in two years time and I’ve got a son in year two, while they’re receiving a really good education I think it’s not just about the students now, it’s about the students in the future,” Mrs Dart said.
“We need to keep going and get this project finished, so they’ve got suitable facilities for the years ahead rather than just focusing on the now.”
Principal Ben Tait said the ongoing support the school is receiving is pushing the project towards its completion.
“It’s really nice to know that the education precinct project is deemed and seen as a really positive move forward and people are supporting that,” Mr Tait said.
“I believe plans and talks have spanned back even possibly 15 years and so to see us tip-toeing towards the fruition is really positive.”