Call for trans­parency on school

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By JON BAS­SETT

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.

■ Su­bi­aco Coun­cil con­di­tion­ally ap­proves school at www.com­mu­ni­tynews.com.au.

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

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