Newbury school great! Let’s plan more!

The State Government should be congratulated for their commitment to a new primary school in the Newbury area, Hume Mayor, Councillor Helen Patsikatheodorou, said today.

Cr Patsikatheodorou said Council had advocated strongly for the school, and wanted to work closely with the State Government to deliver more schools to Hume’s developing suburbs.

“The primary school in the Newbury neighbourhood of Craigieburn will support hundreds of families in Hume, and it’s a critical investment,” Cr Patsikatheodorou said.

“Areas of Craigieburn, Greenvale, Mickleham and Sunbury require new schools to cater for a huge rise in population, and Hume City Council stands ready to help the State Government as it considers new education centres.

“Hume has provided data to the State Government which demonstrates the demand for new schools in our community.

“We want to work alongside government officials as they plan the schools that can educate our youngest residents in the decades ahead.”

The need for new schools in Hume has been highlighted in Precinct Structure Plans for the suburbs of Craigieburn, Greenvale, Mickleham, and Sunbury.

Cr Patsikatheodorou encouraged the State Government to develop an annual budget that would help to upgrade existing state schools and build new ones.

“The number of primary school age children in Hume will rise by 65 per cent between now and 2035, and the volume of secondary school age children shall expand by 51 per cent across the same period,” she said.

“This represents an extra 12,765 primary school age children and an additional 8,459 secondary school age students, and our current state schools cannot cater for this massive growth in pupil numbers.

“Now is the time for the State Government to set money aside for the future education of Hume’s young people, because our municipality is one of the fastest growing communities in Australia.”

Forecasters predict that Hume’s overall population will increase from 193,670 in 2015, to 311,776 in 2035.

Cr Patsikatheodorou said Hume City Council envisaged that an additional 21 local schools would be required across the next 20 years.

“It’s important that children have the time to complete their homework and enjoy after-school activities, rather than spend long periods in heavy traffic during the hottest part of the day,” she said.

“Families benefit greatly when schools are close, because long commutes can be tiring and dangerous for very young people.”

Essential Economics has identified the need for an additional 380 schools in Melbourne’s outer suburbs by 2036, on 2011 levels, as part of its One Melbourne of Two report.

Cr Patsikatheodorou said people of all ages would benefit from new Hume schools.

“It’s vital that Hume’s developing suburbs accommodate infrastructure like schools, hospitals and aged care facilities, which people take for granted in more established areas ,” she said.

“These community amenities ensure that residents are not socially isolated in their homes, unable to access the services which help them to live life to the full.

“People who need to travel in cars to access schools for their children often endure a frustrating daily commute, as they inadvertently contribute to road congestion.

“An ongoing Interface Schools Infrastructure Fund will help to build or upgrade state schools, so that residents in new suburbs can easily access an affordable education.”

Council supports local schools every year through its Teachers’ Scholarships program, which rewards Hume’s most innovative and passionate educators.

Hume also provides Education Scholarships to help some families of Year Six students to pay for the uniforms and books that are required in secondary school.

Council regularly advocates for infrastructure that can support residents in developing suburbs, and recently campaigned for the duplication of parts of Sunbury Road, Craigieburn Road, Somerton Road, and Mickleham Road.

Posted on 12:00 AM, 25 January 2016

Updated : 10:21 AM, 25 January 2016

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