Labor Government Moves Ahead With A High School In Prahran

27 May 2015

Minister for Education, James Merlino, today announced that Swinburne University of Technology’s former Prahran Campus is now the focus of planning for a new secondary school in Prahran.

Following the 2014 election, the Andrews Labor Government, committed to delivering a Prahran high school, continued with pre-existing negotiations with Deaf Children Australia over the purchase or lease of the organisation’s site in St Kilda Rd.

The Expression of Interest process commenced by the previous Liberal government with Deaf Children Australia has now concluded. An agreement could not be reached that would provide value for money and the educational outcomes that the local community deserves.

A feasibility study undertaken by the Labor Government concluded that the investment required to develop a new school at the St Kilda Rd site would cost significantly more than the $20 million committed by the previous Liberal Government in the 2014-15 Victorian Budget.

The Labor Government is working to instead secure a site at Swinburne University’s Prahran campus, with planning and feasibility studies already underway.

The feasibility study into the use of the St Kilda Rd site for a new secondary school, which started in February this year, identified that the entire site would be required to ensure appropriate facilities and site access.

In addition, significant site constraints were identified, including a limited ability to use the site’s heritage-listed facilities for educational purposes, as well as the high cost of renovating, repairing and maintaining those facilities.

The previous Liberal Government failed to deliver a site or a school for Prahran, despite all of their commitments and considerable time and effort invested by members of the local community.

The Labor Government remains committed to working with Deaf Children Australia regarding provision of deaf education and services in Victoria.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education, James Merlino

“The Andrews Labor Government immediately worked to secure a site for a Prahran high school at Deaf Children Australia. We’ve found the site would blow out in cost and fail to provide the education that kids in Prahran need.”

"I am advised that options to secure the St Kilda Rd site would have cost between $50 million and possibly even more than $80 million - that's the cost of building up to three high schools."

Quotes attributable to Member for Southern Metropolitan Region, Philip Dalidakis

“We’re on the front foot and progressing with an alternative site, with planning and feasibility studies already underway at Swinburne University’s Prahran campus.”

“The Liberals spent four years promising a new Prahran high school. Despite all their commitments, they didn’t secure a site or build a school.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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